Symbol to buy RFID company Matrics

Symbol Technologies Inc. on Tuesday moved to beef up its RFID (radio frequency identification) capabilities with an agreement to acquire Matrics Inc., a maker of RFID readers and tags.

Symbol will pay US$230 million in cash for privately held Matrics, based in Rockville, Maryland, in a deal that is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, according to a Symbol statement. The company will finance the deal with short-term borrowing under a new credit facility, it said.

Matrics makes RFID products for vertical markets such as retail, defense and transportation and focuses on products designed to comply with the emerging EPC (Electronic Product Code) standard. An EPC is a unique identifier that can be associated with information such as where an item came from or when it was produced. The standard for them is being developed by EPCGlobal, a nonprofit organization created by the Uniform Code Council and EAN (European Article Numbering) International.

Symbol, in Holtsville, New York, plans to integrate Matrics products into its lineup of wireless and data capture products, the company said.

Last month, RFID rival Intermec Technologies Corp. filed suit against Matrics, alleging patent violations. Intermec is seeking licensing fees from Matrics.

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