Photographer: Susana Gonzalez
technology

Motorola Moves Into Video Surveillance With $1 Billion Avigilon Deal

Motorola Solutions Inc. sees an opening to take advantage of a backlash against Chinese-made technology products with its latest acquisition.

The Chicago-based company agreed to pay about $1 billion including debt for Avigilon Corp., which makes security cameras and video analytics systems for airports, railroads, cities and other commercial enterprises, according to a statement Thursday. Motorola agreed to pay C$27 a share for Vancouver-based Avigilon, an 18 percent premium over its last price of C$22.85.

Motorola plans to sell Avigilon’s products to its customers in the public safety sector, where Avigilon currently does very little business, Motorola Chief Executive Officer Gregory Brown said in an interview.

Video surveillance is a growth market, he said. There’s also an opportunity for because products made by the dominant player in the space -- China’s Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. -- have come under scrutiny in the U.S. in recent months, Brown said.

“I think there is just a concern around China, especially around critical infrastructure communications,” Brown said. “That trend will lend itself well to us.”

After the completion of the acquisition, Brown expects to invest to continue building out the video analytics solutions. Accurate analysis of video by computers has been “a hard nut to crack,” he said. “They have 750-plus patents in the U.S. and internationally. We believe they and we together could advance that forward.”

The deal is scheduled to close by the end of the second quarter.

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