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Moto buys Symbol Tech

Beep beep beep - $4bn please

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Motorola is acquiring industrial mobile-device specialist Symbol in a cash deal worth almost $4bn.

Symbol launched in 1975 and thanks to its low-cost handheld scanners, rode the introduction of barcodes. It subsequently invested heavily in making the scanners wireless, with recent growth coming from RFID readers and infrastructure. A natural fit for Motorola, then, with the latter's existing customer base in transportation and the public sector.

Symbol also has a patent portfolio of over 900 grants, which Motorola CEO Ed 'Zndr' Zander said was a factor in the acquisition.

Moto will pay $15 per share, a 33 cent premium over Monday's trading price, and expects the deal to close late this year or early in the New Year.

Last year, Symbol turned over $1.7bn in revenue and instituted a cost-cutting program. Its most recent quarter saw it return to the black, with net income of $27.2m on revenue of $435m. ®

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