Motorola Solutions, bolstered by its early success in public-safety LTE, is selling off its enterprise business to Zebra Technologies for $3.45 billion cash, enabling Motorola to focus exclusively on mission-critical communications for government and public-safety customers.
The boards of both companies have approved the transaction, which is expected to close by year's end. Motorola intends to return sale proceeds to its shareholders.
Greg Brown, Motorola Solutions chairman and CEO, said that going forward the company "will have absolute clarity of purpose and mission as we serve customers globally with our suite of mission-critical communications solutions."
Motorola will also hang onto its legacy iDen two-way radio business.
Zebra is known for its bar code printers and other products that help companies to track supply-chain assets. The company indicated the acquisition of Motorola's enterprise business, which also makes WLAN equipment, will help Zebra's quest to become a technology innovator in the converging areas of mobility, data analytics and cloud computing.
Motorola's public-safety business got a major shot in the arm earlier this year when it was selected to develop an LTE-based broadband network for Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communication System Authority (LA-RICS), which was the first jurisdiction to approve a 700 MHz spectrum-lease pact with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).
LA-RICS' contract with Motorola will be worth $175 million if all options are exercised. It covers a five-phase project in which the vendor will design, construct, implement and maintain the authority's Band 14, 700 MHz network. The project is due for completion in 2015.
Last year, Motorola was accused of lobbying against FirstNet, which is charged with building the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN). According to Urgent Communications, during a conference call to discuss the Zebra deal, Brown said Motorola is working closely with FirstNet and said the relationship between the two, is "quite frankly, as good as it's ever been."
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