Zebra Technologies to acquire Motorola Solutions' enterprise business for $3.5bn

By Peter Gothard
15 Apr 2014 View Comments
Motorola MWC 2014 keynote

Zebra Technologies is to acquire Motorola Solutions' entire enterprise business for $3.5bn (£2.1bn), according to the Financial Times.

Inventory tracking company Zebra, which achieved revenues in excess of $1bn in 2013, has a market value of $3.44bn and is primarily involved with tracking Amazon's inventory in its numerous international online stores.

Further reading

Motorola Solutions builds and provides barcode scanning hardware to thousands of businesses across the world. The combined company will employ 7,000 people and generate annual sales of about $3.5bn. 

Combined, Zebra and Motorola have the potential to be a force within the Internet of Things, set to be the next priority for technology companies. 

Zebra also produces human-tracking technology, including devices worn by sports players to track individual performance, and microchips used in building passes for ski resort lifts. 

The sale is part of the dismantling of Motorola, once one of the world's largest electronics companies. 

Motorola was also one of the world's biggest mobile phone makers at the turn of the century, but spun that unit off into an independent company, Motorola Mobility, which was then acquired by Google in August 2011 for $12.5bn.

At the end of January 2014, Google announced that Chinese PC vendor Lenovo was acquiring the Motorola Mobility smartphone business, but with Google maintaining ownership of the patent portfolio. The purchase price is yet to be absolutely confirmed, but is believed to be around the $3bn mark.

Motorola was founded in 1928, in Chicago, as the Galvin Manufacturing Corporation. It produced mainly radio-based products, before moving into semiconductors and mobile phones. In 1998, it lost its number-one position in mobile phones - to Nokia. 

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