Honeywell pays almost $500M for mobile networking, satellite commo firm

Acquisition will add highly ruggedized mobile computing products and services

Honeywell International Inc. will pay $33 per share in cash, or an aggregate purchase price of approximately $491 million, to acquire EMS Technologies Inc., a provider of connectivity solutions for mobile networking, rugged mobile computers and satellite communications.

The agreement provides for a Honeywell subsidiary to commence a tender offer within 10 business days to purchase all outstanding shares of the company based in Norcross, Ga., Honeywell announced in a statement June 13.

EMS's $181 million Global Resource Management division provides highly ruggedized mobile computing products and services for use in transportation, logistics and workforce management as well as secure satellite-based asset tracking and messaging technology for search and rescue, warehousing and field force automation environments, according to the Honeywell announcement.

Through its $174 million Aviation division, EMS provides terminals, antennas, in-cabin network devices, rugged data storage, and surveillance applications predominantly for use on aircraft and for other data-gathering objectives.

Honeywell said the acquisition will enhance its existing capabilities in rugged mobile computing technologies and satellite communications within its Automation and Control Solutions and Aerospace businesses.

EMS adds new positions in attractive markets that are closely aligned with favorable trends in the growing Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance space and commercial aerospace, said Honeywell Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dave Cote in the announcement.

"Apart from the obvious technology gained for the Aerospace division of Honeywell with the acquisition of EMS Technologies, an added advantage of this acquisition is the access to the expertise of EMS’s Global Tracking division,” said Chirag Rathi, senior consultant at Frost & Sullivan, in a statement from June 14 commenting on the acquisition.

“EMS could provide great benefits to Honeywell’s portfolio of supply chain management, automation, telematics, and terminal automation offerings,” Rathi added.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2011.

Honeywell International, of Morris Township, N.J., ranks No. 26 on Washington Technology’s 2011 Top 100 list of the largest federal government contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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