Symbol Technologies Buys Matrics

Symbol Technologies, an enterprise mobility company, has reached an agreement to acquire Matrics, a company that designs and manufactures radio frequency identification (RFID) systems that are compliant with electronic product code (EPC) systems.

Privately held Matrics is based in Rockville, Maryland. The purchase price is $230 million in cash.

“The acquisition of Matrics is a significant step in executing our plan to be a leader in RFID, and expands our offerings in the advanced data capture industry,” said William Nuti, Symbol president and chief executive officer.

“We believe that in order for RFID to be deployed successfully, it needs to be deployed as a system — a system that allows customers to capture, move and manage critical information to and from the point of business activity,” Nuti went on to say.

“By incorporating the Matrics EPC-compliant RFID products into Symbol’s portfolio of industry leading mobile computing, advanced data capture and wireless technologies, Symbol can help customers in key market segments gain operational efficiencies in their supply chains and realize competitive advantage.”

Financing the Acquisition

Symbol intends to finance the acquisition with short-term borrowings under a new credit facility and expects to refinance the borrowings in a capital markets equity or equity-linked transaction later this year, market conditions permitting.

The acquisition, which is subject to approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2004.

As a result of the acquisition, Symbol expects the dilution to its 2004 earnings per share of recurring operations of Matrics, including costs to finance the transaction, to be in the range of $0.05 to $0.06 per diluted share, excluding any noncash amortization charges of acquired intangibles and any purchase accounting adjustments, yet to be determined.

Symbol also expects the dilutive effect to diminish in 2005, subject to timing and market demand for RFID products.

About Matrics

Matrics has focused its RFID technology efforts on EPC standards. Matrics provides EPC-compliant RFID systems for retail, defense, transportation and other vertical markets.

The Matrics product line-up features RFID systems including multiprotocol, EPC-compliant fixed readers; readers designed for embedded applications, such as RFID printers and handhelds; high-performance antennas for RFID tag reading; and EPC labels that can be attached to items such as containers, pallets, cartons and more.

The RFID tag family includes both read-only and read-write functionality that addresses a wide range of asset visibility applications.

Today, Matrics RFID readers and tags are used by customers to help track inventory across the supply chain, ensure compliance in regulated industries, track the location of baggage throughout airports for security purposes and facilitate a more effective logistics process within the defense sector.

About RFID

RFID is an advanced data-capture technology. RFID tags can be applied to assets moving through global supply chains.

Readers installed at various locations, such as dock doors, conveyors or forklifts, can instantly read the unique EPC number from the tags as the assets enter the reader’s interrogation zone.

Because an RFID reader does not require a direct line of sight to the tag for EPC reading, and offers the added benefit that many tags can be read simultaneously, data capture is performed rapidly and virtually hands free.

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