Extreme Networks Acquires WLAN tech from Zebra for $55M

Wireless access technologies formerly developed by Motorola are on the move, again.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Sep 14, 2016
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Extreme Networks this morning announced a $55 million all-cash deal to acquire Zebra Technologies Wireless LAN (WLAN) business unit. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The WLAN technology that Extreme Networks is now gaining has its roots at Motorola. Zebra Technologies acquired Motorola Solutions Inc. for $3.45 billion in 2014. Zebra is not selling off all of its Motorola assets, only a subset related to WLAN. Zebra still holds a large portfolio of mobile asset management RFID, scanners, software and services that it will continue to sell.

Among the core assets that Extreme is gaining is the Zebra NSight Platform which provides network troubleshooting as well as security capabilities. On the hardware side, Extreme is gaining the Wing portfolio of networking gear, which includes a suite of 802.11ac high-speed wireless access points.

"The WLAN business is an ideal fit with Extreme Networks as a pure play networking company, and we are proud of our WLAN employees for the contributions they have made to Zebra and will make in the future," Anders Gustafsson, CEO of Zebra Technologies, said in a statement. "This transaction enables us to increase our focus on delivering the best Enterprise Asset Intelligence solutions, in collaboration with our partners, that give our customers real-time visibility into their operations so they can make smarter decisions. "

For Extreme Networks the acquisition is seen as a way to expand the company's footprint in the growing WLAN market.

"WLAN is the fastest growing segment in the networking industry," Ed Meyercord, President and CEO of Extreme Networks, said in a statement. "Our heritage of delivering innovative and pioneering technology is reinforced with today's announcement, underscoring our commitment to providing customers worldwide with unified visibility and control across their wired and wireless networks."

Extreme Networks reported its full fiscal 2016 financial results on August 3, with revenue reported at $528.4 million, down from $552.9 million for fiscal 2015.

The Zebra Technologies WLAN acquisition by Extreme Networks follows a continuing pattern of consolidation in the past year throughout the WLAN marketplace. In 2015, Hewlett Packard acquired Aruba Networks for $2.7 billion, Fortinet acquired Meru Networks for $44 million. This year, Brocade acquired Ruckus Wireless in a $1.5 billion deal.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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