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Symbol To Acquire RFID Vendor For $230M

In its second acquisition in about a month, Symbol Technologies plans to acquire RFID product vendor Matrics.

The move marks Symbol's second acquisition in about a month. In mid-June, the Holtsville, N.Y.-based company agreed to acquire Trio Security, a Colorado Springs, Colo.-based handheld security vendor, with plans to fold it into the Symbol Mobility Software Division.

Matrics' product line includes RFID systems such as multiprotocol fixed readers, readers designed for embedded applications such as RFID printers and handhelds, and antennas for RFID tag reading. The company's RFID readers are typically used for supply chain management and location management.

The Matrics acquisition would help Symbol expand its offerings in the advanced data capture arena, according to William Nuti, Symbol president and CEO. In a morning press conference to discuss the deal, Nuti said Symbol would finance the acquisition via short-term borrowing under a new credit facility.

Symbol expects to close the deal, which is subject to approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, during the third quarter. With the acquisition, the mobile technology vendor expects dilution to its 2004 earnings per share of recurring operations of Matrics, including costs to finance the transaction, to be 5 cents to 6 cents per diluted share. Symbol is scheduled to announce its second-quarter earnings this week.

Nuti took Symbol's CEO reins in late December, when predecessor Richard Bravman stepped down amid a financial reporting scandal and ongoing government investigations that turned the company inside out. Since then, Nuti has moved to shake up management, regain channel partners's confidence, refine the company's market focus and drive its enterprise mobility strategy forward.

For instance, Symbol is working to maintain relationships with partners that sell traditional Symbol point products such as scanners, mobile computers and wireless switches. The company also is building relationships with new partners such as network integrators.

At the same time, Symbol is rolling out a training and certification program for its new Mobility Services Suite, which aims to slash the amount of time it takes to deploy complex mobile infrastructure solutions and applications.

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