#4: Biggest Stories of 2006: Motorola, Qualcomm, and Nokia acquisitions

This was a banner year of big acquisitions by major mobility technology vendors, demonstrating that several aspects of the mobility revolution are reaching critical periods of growth and maturity. Here’s a quick rundown of the key transactions by date:

“SAN DIEGO — January 19, 2006 — QUALCOMM Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), a leading developer and innovator of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and other advanced wireless technologies, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Flarion Technologies, a pioneer and leading developer of Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex Access (OFDMA) technology and the inventor of FLASH-OFDM® technology for mobile broadband Internet protocol (IP) services. The acquisition expands QUALCOMM’s already extensive portfolio of OFDMA intellectual property and enhances the Company’s engineering team with expertise in OFDMA technology and products.”

February 10, 2006 “New York, NY, USA -Nokia (NYSE: NOK) today announced it has completed its acquisition of Intellisync, a leader in platform-independent wireless messaging and applications for mobile devices. As a result of the acquisition, Intellisync common stock is no longer publicly traded and each share of Intellisync common stock has been converted into the right to receive $5.25 in cash. The transaction will enhance Nokia’s ability to respond to customer needs and effectively puts Nokia at the core of any mobility solution for businesses of all sizes. Intellisync’s entire product range will continue to be sold under the Intellisync name as part of Nokia’s business mobility solutions software business line within its Enterprise Solutions business group.”

“SCHAUMBURG, Ill. 18 April 2006 — Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Orthogon Systems, a privately held, leading provider of high-performance fixed wireless solutions. The addition will expand the MOTOwi4 portfolio of IP, wireless broadband solutions. Orthogon’s industry leading expertise in wireless Ethernet connectivity is highly strategic to Motorola’s rapidly growing wireless broadband business. A pioneer in intelligent OFDM-based, wireless IP, point-to-point transmission solutions, Orthogon has developed and successfully marketed innovative, software-defined Ethernet bridges. With this acquisition Motorola will enhance its OFDM capability and broaden the support of its MOTOwi4 wireless broadband offerings — including WiMAX, Mesh Solutions and Canopy products — and accelerate the growth of its existing wireless IP access business. Motorola expects to advance Orthogon core technology to build it into a series of future products.”

“SAN DIEGO — August 18, 2006 — QUALCOMM Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), a leading developer and innovator of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and other advanced wireless technologies, today announced that it will acquire San Diego-based Qualphone Inc., a leading provider of IP-based Multimedia Subsystems (IMS) embedded client software solutions for mobile devices and interoperability testing (IOT) services. The acquisition of Qualphone’s products and resources will help QUALCOMM further accelerate the delivery of multimedia-capable, feature-rich 3G solutions on top of the emerging IMS and Multi Media Domain (MMD) architectures to WCDMA/UMTS and CDMA2000® markets. Completion of the acquisition is expected later this month.”

“SCHAUMBURG, Ill. and HOLTSVILLE, NY — 19 September 2006 — Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) and Symbol Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: SBL) announced today that the two companies have signed a definitive merger agreement, under which Motorola has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Symbol for $15 per share in cash. The transaction has a total equity value of approximately $3.9 billion on a fully-diluted basis. As of June 30, 2006, Symbol had approximately $200 million of net cash. Symbol is a leader in designing, developing, manufacturing and servicing products and systems used in end-to-end enterprise mobility solutions featuring rugged mobile computing, advanced data capture, radio frequency identification (RFID), wireless infrastructure and mobility management. The company’s products and services help customers increase workforce productivity, improve customer service and enhance operational efficiencies by delivering information in real-time, as people, information and assets are on-the-move. Symbol is recognized as an industry leader in technology innovation, with a world-class product portfolio and valuable intellectual property. In addition, Symbol has a strong partner network and possesses deep domain knowledge and expertise in key verticals including retail, travel and transportation, manufacturing, wholesale distribution and healthcare.”

October 12, 2006 “Espoo, Finland and Berlin, Germany – Nokia today announced that it has completed its acquisition of gate5 AG, a leading supplier of mapping, routing and navigation software and services. The acquisition of gate5 is an important step in developing the new product category of multimedia computers that offer people multiple ways to connect to information, entertainment and other people. In the end of September, Nokia introduced the Nokia N95 multimedia computer with integrated GPS and navigation functionality. The Nokia N95 maps and navigation application is based on the gate5 software platform.”

October 16, 2006 “Espoo, Finland/Seattle, USA – Nokia (NYSE: NOK) today announced that it has completed its acquisition of Loudeye Corp. (Nasdaq: LOUD), a global leader of digital music platforms and digital media distribution services. ‘With this acquisition completed, Nokia is on target to deliver the best fully integrated mobile music experience to our customers during 2007,’ said Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice president and general manager, Multimedia, Nokia. ‘This new team brings the enthusiasm and expertise that make experiences such as our recently announced Music Recommenders service possible. Our vision is to enable people to access all the music they want, anywhere, anytime and at a reasonable cost; this is driving the development of our music offering.'”

“SCHAUMBURG, Ill., and SANTA CLARA, Calif., 10 November 2006 – Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) and Good Technology, Inc. today announced that the companies have signed a definitive agreement under which Motorola will acquire privately held Good Technology, a leader in enterprise mobile computing software and service. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Good Technology, based in Santa Clara, is a strategic addition to Motorola’s Mobile Devices business. The acquisition will extend Motorola’s mobile computing capabilities and increase the company’s enterprise client base. Good Technology’s wireless messaging, data access and handheld security offerings provide intuitive and advanced productivity solutions for mobile professionals with enterprise-level device security and management.”

“SAN DIEGO — November 16, 2006 — QUALCOMM Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), a leading provider of business-to-business wireless enterprise applications and services, today announced that it has acquired Chicago-based nPhase LLC, a leading provider of machine-to-machine solutions that allow enterprises to manage and monitor widely dispersed, fixed machine assets. The acquisition of nPhase helps reinforce QUALCOMM’s leadership position in the evolving machine-to-machine market.”

I think Motorola’s Ed Zander summed it up pretty well in explaining the Symbol acquisition:

“Everything is going digital, and everything digital is going mobile – this is especially evident in the way businesses are run today. Motorola and Symbol share the same vision of a digital, mobile world for enterprises that matches the world people enjoy at home and at play.”

One Response to “#4: Biggest Stories of 2006: Motorola, Qualcomm, and Nokia acquisitions”

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