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Motorola Solutions buys Psion for $200m

 
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PostPosted: Monday, 18.Jun.2012 17:25    Post subject: Motorola Solutions buys Psion for $200m   Reply with quote   

Motorola Solutions buys Psion, see Financial Times. Excerpt:
    Motorola Solutions buys Psion for $200m
    Psion, a famous name in UK computing and the inventor of the personal digital assistant (PDA), has been bought by Motorola Solutions of the US for $200m.

    Motorola’s all-cash offer of 88 pence a share, representing a 45 per cent premium on Psion’s closing price in London on Thursday, was unanimously recommended by Psion’s board.

    Long before Apple produced its ill-fated Newton PDA and Palm its Pilot handheld device, Psion came up with the Psion Organiser in 1984 – the first handheld computer, which appeared in the same year as Apple introduced the first Macintosh personal computer.

    The Psion device, in particular the Psion Organiser II, was much loved by computer buffs in Britain in the 1980s. They could store contacts, create an electronic diary, do calculations and even play simple games on its small two-line display.

    Psion, which stands for Potter Scientific Instruments after its founder David Potter, first made its name producing software for the Sinclair ZX81 and ZX Spectrum – early home computers in the UK.

    A community of developers grew up round the programming language and operating system Psion created for its organisers, producing a wide range of programs.

    The operating system was eventually renamed Symbian in 1998 as a partnership was formed with Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola to develop it for smartphones.

    Psion sold its share in Symbian to Nokia in 2004 and the Finnish handset maker announced last year it was phasing out Symbian as it switched to Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system.

    Psion produced more advanced Series 3 organisers in the 1990s, but it began to face competition from rivals such as Apple and Palm.

    In 2000, it bought Teklogix of Canada, a maker of rugged, wireless products, and this niche sector of ruggedised mobile computing has become its core business.

    “The offer by Motorola Solutions provides Psion's shareholders with certainty in an environment where certainty is in short supply,” John Hawkins, chairman of Psion, said in a statement on Friday.

    Greg Brown, Motorola Solutions chief executive, said: “Psion is a compelling opportunity to strengthen our industry-leading, mobile-computing portfolio with ruggedised handheld products and vehicle-mount terminals.”

    Psion has about 830 employees, customers in more than 50 countries and recorded sales worth GBP 176m in 2011.

    The 88 pence a share offer represents a 66 per cent premium to Psion’s average price over the past six months.

    Motorola has already acquired 10 per cent of Psion’s shares and secured irrevocable commitments for another 17 per cent. The deal depends on the tender of 90 per cent of the shares and is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

    Psion will be incorporated into Motorola Solutions' Enterprise Mobile Computing (EMC) business. The companies did not say whether the famous brand would be allowed to disappear.
--
Bent Laursen
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