There’s always a bigger fish

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Mergers and acquisitions have been a constant happening in the RFID ocean lately, with HID Global dominating the currents.

In the past year or so there was one a lot of of mergers and acquisitions in the radio frequency identification industry. “There’s always a bigger fish,” as the old adage goes (not to mention war of stars‘ Qui-Gon Jinn) tells us, and in the RFID ocean, that’s been proven true time and time again.

Avery Dennison Smartrac acquired TexTrace, enabling it to commercialize UHF RFID products that can be sewn or built into garments for loss prevention and tracking functionality (see Avery Dennison’s TexTrace Acquisition Targets Integrated RFID for Apparel). TE Connectivity expanded its wireless technology offering by acquiring Laird Connectivity’s external antenna business (see TE Connectivity’s Laird Acquisition Consolidates IoT Antenna Technologies). Paragon ID expanded its presence in the aviation baggage management sector by acquiring baggage label company Security Label (see Paragon ID prepares to launch security label acquisition). And the Fedrigoni Group has recently acquired majority stake in Tageos (see Tageos tags reflect growing RFID demand and Fedrigoni becomes majority shareholder of Tageos).

HID Global has been a particularly hungry fish lately. The company’s Textile Services division expanded its presence in the textile management market with the acquisition of US laundry services company InvoTech Systems (see HID Expands Textile Solutions Offering Through InvoTech Acquisition). In the meantime, it has expanded its own product portfolio to include Invengo’s RFID tags, readers and software (see HID Global acquires Invengo’s Textile Services Division).

Additionally, HID acquired technology companies Omni-ID (see HID Global Acquires Omni-ID and Acquisition of Omni-ID Expands HID’s RFID and IoT Geographical Footprint) and Technology Solutions Ltd. UK (see Acquisition brings mobile UHF reading to HID Global). to strengthen its RFID and Internet of Things presence. Recently, the company added Vizinex RFID to its growing list of acquisitions (see HID Global expands footprint with Vizinex RFID purchase). HID has now announced the acquisition of ACURA, a Brazilian manufacturer and reseller of RFID hardware.

This latest addition will expand HID’s RFID portfolio while increasing the company’s prominence in Latin America. ACURA targets enterprise, industrial, logistics, transportation and retail applications for customers such as Ambev, Cargill, Sensormatic/JCI, Nike/Centauro, Fleetcor/Sem Parar, Mercedes Benz, Honda Motors, HP, ArcelorMittal and Vale SA. The company’s offering includes low, high and ultra high frequency RFID readers along with antennas, biometric terminals and printers, all of which will become part of HID’s extensive catalog.

Bjorn Lidefelt, HID’s EVP, said in a prepared statement, “As the RFID market expands globally, our goal is to grow with it by increasing our relevance to customers in all locations. The addition of ACURA to the HID family is another important milestone in our journey to becoming the leader in RFID technologies, including in Brazil and Latin America.” Marc Bielmann, the company’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Identification Technologies, added: ” This strategic acquisition will expand HID’s RFID portfolio and enhance our competitive advantage as we will be able to offer a new range of locally tailored RFID products and solutions.”

According to Windes.com, “Mergers and acquisitions provide greater financial strength for both companies involved in the transaction. Greater economic power can lead to higher market shares, greater influence over customers, and reduced threats from competitors. In most cases, larger companies have a harder time competing against each other.” On the other hand, Harvard Business Review warns: “While much has been written to speculate whether mergers improve or detract from economic prosperity, there is little empirical evidence that either sides of the argument.”

HID is on track to become one of the largest fish in the ocean of radio frequency identification as it devours smaller fish with no end in sight to its appetite. Time will tell what impact this will have on the RFID biosphere, but don’t be surprised if the company makes more big catches soon. The RFID world is going through a major upheaval lately — and it’s no fish tale.

Rich Handley was the editor-in-chief of RFID journal since 2005. Outside of the RFID world, Rich has authored, edited, or contributed to numerous popular culture books. You can contact Rich by email.

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