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Zebra Tech to buy Motorola Solutions’ enterprise business

Release Time: 04/15/2014 10:57 View: 1,319

Barcode printer maker Zebra Technologies said it would buy Motorola Solutions enterprise business, which makes rugged mobile computers, tablets and barcode scanners, for $3.45 billion in cash.

The deal will allow Zebra, whose products help companies such as Amazon track inventory and supply chains, to tap the opportunity presented by the profusion of devices, ranging from cars to smoke alarms, connected to the Internet.

Motorola Solutions’ enterprise clients include Wal-Mart Stores and TNT Express.

But the business, which accounts for about a third of Motorola Solutions' total revenue, has been struggling as companies delay orders and cut spending.

After the sale, Motorola Solutions will be left with its core government and public safety business. It also plans to retain its iDEN products portfolio, which is a part of its enterprise business.

“Upon closing of the transaction, we intend to return the proceeds to our shareholders in a timely fashion,” Motorola Solutions Chief Executive Greg Brown said in a statement.

Zebra’s shares were up about 6 percent at $72.45 before the bell, while Motorola Solutions’ stock was up 3.5 percent at $66.01.

"It's an aggressive play by Zebra to fortify their position in the entire AIDC (automatic identification and data capture) space," Northcoast Research analyst Keith Housum said.

The acquisition will be funded through a combination of $200 million cash on hand and $3.25 billion debt, comprising a credit facility and issuance of debt securities.

Morgan Stanley, the financial adviser to Zebra, is providing a financing commitment for the debt.

Zebra said it expected the deal to add to earnings immediately after closing at the end of this year. About 4,500 Motorola Solutions'employees will join Zebra.

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