April 17, 2009
In a move that will beef up the public-safety networking business of Harris Corp., the company said this week that it will acquire Tyco Electronics' Wireless Systems unit for $675 million.
Tyco's Wireless Systems specializes in large-scale communications systems that are based on Internet Protocol (IP) technology. The acquisition will strengthen Harris' position in the public-safety, transit, utility, and public-service industries and puts the new Harris unit in a solid position behind longtime public-safety leaders Motorola and European Aerospace and Defense Systems. Wireless Systems, which employs about 1,150, will be merged into Harris' RF Communications division in Rochester, N.Y., according to the company. The announcement was made Thursday by Tyco Electronics CEO Tom Lynch, who said the acquisition will be beneficial to both companies. "The sale of Wireless Systems business will increase our focus on our core connectivity business and substantially completes the streamlining of our portfolio that we began two years ago," Lynch said in a statement." Howard Lance, chief executive of Harris, noted that Wireless Systems has established a strong U.S. sales channel for its innovative technologies. The public-safety and public-service sector served by the Wireless Systems-centered business is worth some $9 billion globally in revenue and is growing at a rate of 5% annually. Lance said the deal represents a growth opportunity for Harris. Wireless Systems had sales of $461 million in fiscal 2008. With public-safety agency sales accounting for about 75% of Wireless Systems' business, the acquisition serves more than 1 million users, including customers in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Nevada as well as for Canada's Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Headquartered in Bermuda, Tyco Electronics plans to focus more on its core connectivity business in the wake of the Wireless Systems sale, according to Lynch.
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