Honeywell is buying mobile-computing company EMS Technologies for $491 million. The deal gives Honeywell a foothold in rugged products for satellite communications and warehousing.
Honeywell International, a
major technology player in aviation, military and government, is acquiring EMS
Technologies, a leading provider of rugged mobile-computing and satellite
communications for industrial environments.
Honeywell announced the deal
on June 13, and the company plans to pay $33 per share, or approximately $491
million, for EMS.
The purchase allows Honeywell
to boost its rugged mobile-computing and satellite-communications offering for
the aerospace industry. EMS' wearable mobile-computing products are used in the
government, military, transportation and warehousing.
"EMS strengthens our
core mobile-computing business and expands our addressable market with complementary
new products, channel partners, and entry into the warehousing and port
segments that we believe will be growth drivers for the business," Roger
Fradin, Honeywell's Automation and Control Solutions president and CEO, said in
a statement. "This also represents an opportunity to demonstrate our
proven acquisition integration process."
EMS also produces secure
satellite-based asset-tracking and messaging technologies.
Other EMS products include
antennas, vehicle-mounted PCs and rugged data storage and surveillance software
for airplanes and gathering data. EMS also provides broadband airline Internet
Meanwhile, air ambulance
fleets track flights using EMS satellite communications systems.
Defense industry vendors
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon use EMS' satellite
technologies for secure communications and electronic-warfare systems.
In mobile computing, EMS'
LXE division makes rugged mobile
devices such as the LXE Tecton handheld for data capture in supply chains
for shipping and retail. These devices run Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5 or
Windows CE 6.0. The keypad is resistant to airborne and spilled chemicals. It
can also withstand drops and shock.
LXE also manufactures a line
of Marathon rugged PCs for extreme working environments. They feature screens
readable outdoors, a biometric fingerpad, a solid-state hard drive and GPS. In
addition, they can survive multiple 4-foot drops to concrete.
Rugged mobile PCs from LXE
are used in chemical plants, oil refineries and cold environments such as
cold-storage food warehouses.
Other manufacturers of
rugged mobile-computing products for industrial environments include General
Dynamics Itronix, Mobile Computing, Motorola, Panasonic and Xplore.
"Combining EMS products
into our aerospace business means that Honeywell can now deliver the next big
leap in satcom technology, a key growth area for aerospace," Tim Mahoney,
Honeywell's aerospace president and CEO, said in a statement. "Our
customers will greatly benefit from these new products and solutions, enabling
them to leverage the strong global growth of high-speed wireless and satellite
The acquisition will be
completed by the end of the third quarter, according to Honeywell.
Honeywell's history dates
back to 1885, with a background in heating before it ventured into mainframe
computers and aerospace. Today, Honeywell also makes handheld bar-code scanners
for the health care industry to register specimens during testing and reduce
errors during medication dispensing.
Brian T. Horowitz is a freelance technology and health writer as well as a copy editor. Brian has worked on the tech beat since 1996 and covered health care IT and rugged mobile computing for eWEEK since 2010. He has contributed to more than 20 publications, including Computer Shopper, Fast Company, FOXNews.com, More, NYSE Magazine, Parents, ScientificAmerican.com, USA Weekend and Womansday.com, as well as other consumer and trade publications. Brian holds a B.A. from Hofstra University in New York.