Feature Article

June 15, 2012

Motorola Solutions Buys Psion Plc in Nine Figure Deal

Today, Motorola Solutions Inc. said it would buy Psion Plc, a provider of mobile computing systems, for $200 million in cash. Motorola agreed to pay $1.36 per share for the company, which is actually a premium of 45 percent over yesterday's closing price, and the acquisition itself is slated to conclude in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Motorola Solutions reportedly picked up Psion Plc as a way to augment its offerings with its industrial clients, as Psion had a variety of products already ready to go in the industrial sector, as well as some substantial offerings in the rugged computing sector, which is valuable for anyone in an industrial setting.

Psion was also one of the earliest companies to create a PDA--the Series 3 and, later, the Series 5 lines--which was arguably one of the main first moves toward the creation of modern smartphones. The Series 5 in particular was often cited for its keyboard, which allowed a fairly large QWERTY keyboard to fold up into the main system when not in use. Psion also made something of a name for itself back in 2009, when Psion pointed out that they had the original trademark on the term "netbook", and launched a small trademark war that started with cease and desist letters to netbook manufacturers and ended with a settlement with Intel for an undisclosed sum.

Motorola Solutions' move to pick up Psion will give them plenty of new offerings, as Psion has been actively engaged in research, development, and product manufacture for decades. Since Motorola Solutions' first quarter financial reports showed gains on several fronts, they likely want to keep the momentum going to maintain their appeal with shareholders. For its part, Psion is painting the deal as a way to obtain security and certainty for shareholders in an economy where certainty isn't easy to come by. So while this move effectively removes Psion from the field as an independent company, it does give Motorola Solutions a lot more firepower in the market segment, as well as some potential ways to refine their own offerings, and further patents to work with and help shield them against future patent lawsuits, should they occur.

The long-term ramifications of such a move are as yet unclear, but once this deal completes around the end of this year, we should be looking at some impressive gains at the end.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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