Motorola to buy Symbol for $3.9 billion

user-gravatar Headshot

Motorola Inc. has announced that it will acquire Symbol Technologies for about $3.9 billion in a deal that expands the world’s second-largest cell-phone maker’s presence in the market for business-oriented mobile devices. The deal for Symbol, which makes portable bar-code scanners and customized handheld computers, is expected to close in late 2006 or early 2007, company officials said.

“This is a company we’ve been looking at for some time,” said Ed Zander, Motorola chairman and chief executive officer, during a conference call from Symbol’s headquarters in Holtsville, N.Y. “We really had our hearts set on adding lots of critical mass and critical size inside the enterprise area, and today we do that.”

Symbol also produces mobile devices for rugged business environments, as well as equipment based on radio frequency identification, or RFID, which is used for inventory tracking and other purposes. Motorola, based in Schaumburg, Ill., intends for Symbol to become the “cornerstone” of the company’s enterprise mobility business, said Symbol CEO Sal Iannuzzi.

Symbol has about 5,200 workers and in 2005 reported earnings of $32.3 million on sales of $1.77 billion. “This transaction is about growth,” Iannuzzi said. “We are confident that Symbol’s products and personnel will prove to be a valuable asset to Motorola.”