Home & Office

Motorola buys Symbol Technologies for £2bn

The mobile phone giant has acquired networking and RFID company Symbol to bolster its enterprise division and take on Cisco, Nokia and others
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Symbol Technologies, a company that specialises in barcode scanners, wireless and radio frequency identification (RFID) equipment, has been bought by Motorola.

The second-biggest mobile phone manufacturer in the world bought Symbol's outstanding shares on Tuesday, closing a deal worth approximately $3.9bn (£2bn) in total.

"This transaction significantly advances Motorola's enterprise mobility strategy and is consistent with our focus on building on our already strong intellectual property portfolio and extending Motorola's seamless mobility leadership," said Motorola's chairman, Ed Zander, on Tuesday.

Symbol had been approached several times by Motorola, according to Symbol's EMEA marketing manager, Marco Landi, who denied press reports that Symbol had actively put itself up for auction.

"Motorola established their Enterprise division a couple of years ago, and had since been investigating potential acquisitions to deepen that side of their business," Landi told ZDNet UK on Tuesday, adding: "The last approach was this spring and there have been discussions on and off since then".

Landi explained that, because Symbol Technologies is significantly larger than Motorola's Enterprise division, it would in effect take the division over.

"The businesses are extremely complimentary," said Landi. "We think they will keep everything. We will bring to them all our coverage in terms of market, retail, manufacturing, transport and logistics, and they will help us with [their governmental expertise]. We will bring them all of our mobile computing technology which they lack, our wireless and switch technology, RFID and scanning."

Symbol has an extensive portfolio of wireless LAN equipment, which Landi claimed would benefit from the Motorola brand. "It will give us a stronger brand to compete with Cisco," he explained, adding: "The new Motorola Enterprise will probably become an even bigger leader in the market and a big competitor for the likes of Nokia, who are trying to penetrate enterprise mobility."

Landi denied that the merger would result in any job losses. It is expected that the transaction will be completed within the next two to three months.

Editorial standards