Company Roundup: Honeywell, MIAX, GPEC, Ness Technologies and More

Photo: Roger Fradin, Honeywell Photo Credit: Honeywell
Roger Fradin, Honeywell | Honeywell

Honeywell: Honeywell, the Morristown-based international giant, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Intermec (Everett, Wash.), a well-known but struggling provider of rugged mobile computing and radio-frequency identification (RFID) solutions.

It also supplies bar code, label and receipt printers for use in warehousing, supply chain, field service and manufacturing environments.

Honeywell will pay $10 per share in cash at aggregate purchase price of approximately $600 million, net of cash and debt acquired.

Honeywell said the transaction is expected to further enhance the company’s position in rugged mobile computing devices, building on the scanning and mobility franchise within the firm’s automation and control solutions portfolio. In fact, one estimate says Honeywell will double its business from rugged mobile computing through the acquisition.

According to Roger Fradin of Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions, “The addition of Intermec is a natural extension to our Scanning & Mobility business, which was established through the successful acquisition of Hand Held Products, Metrologic and EMS [Technologies].”

According to an article on the site The Deal, Intermec has come under pressure of late, with investor Cramer Rosenthal McGlynn (CRM) voicing concerns in a May regulatory filing about the company’s lagging stock price and undervalued patent portfolio. The views of CRM, which at the time owned about 16.5 percent of Intermec, were echoed soon thereafter by 9 percent holder Gamco Investors, the Deal article said.

Speaking about the acquisition, Honeywell’s Fradin added, “While Intermec strengthens our core scanning and mobile computing business, it opens up entirely new opportunities in RFID, voice solutions and barcode and receipt printing segments that we currently don’t serve. It expands our product offerings and strengthens our intellectual property portfolio, putting us in position to be a technology leader for years to come in the highly attractive automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) industry.

“Intermec has extensive engineering capability and broad sales reach that we look forward to integrating into our existing organization in an effort to build a leading position in the AIDC marketplace,” continued Fradin. Intermec also has a large patent portfolio, which must have been attractive to Honeywell.

MIAX: On Dec. 7, 2012, MIAX Options Exchange (Princeton), the newest U.S. equity options exchange, launched its electronic trading operations with the rollout of its first symbol, Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF). MIAX achieved approximately 4.21 percent of CLF market share on its first day of trading. The company received an approval order from the SEC of its application for registration as a national securities exchange on Dec. 3, 2012.

MIAX is a fully electronic options trading exchange. Its trading platform has been developed in-house and designed from the ground up for the unique functional and performance demands of derivatives trading. The MIAX executive offices and technology development center, as well as the national operations center for MIAX Options Exchange, are located in Princeton. Additional executive offices and a multipurpose training, meeting and conference center will be located in Miami. The company said the first day of training went well.

GPEC: The Medford Lakes company Global Photonic Energy Corp. (GPEC) has demonstrated a thin-film solar cell that could potentially provide electricity at “grid parity,” the cost of traditionally provided electricity.

The company said its technology is based on the research of the University of Michigan’s Stephen Forrest. Forrest’s patent-pending invention allows cell production by reusing gallium arsenide wafers, thus reducing the cost to produce the solar cell, the company said. GPEC plans to commercialize the technology through licensing.

Ness Technologies: Teaneck-based Ness Technologies has acquired Imano, a London-based creative digital agency that was one of the first companies to market with an augmented reality iPhone app. Ness is a global IT and business services solutions provider with expertise in software product engineering and distribution, application development and consulting.

Ness is developing a “compute anywhere” mobility footprint and said the acquisition will help it give clients a proven User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) combined with a mobile strategy to ensure a comprehensive, sustainable mobile initiative.

Axiologix: Axiologix, a Bedminster-headquartered cloud products and services company, has spun out a wholly owned subsidiary called AxioComm that will offer VOIP, data and cloud service directly to small and medium-sized U.S. businesses. According to Dennis Mitrano, president of telecom operations at the firm, the subsidiary will “bring organic growth” and incorporate acquisitions in the works. The services will be sold via master sales agents throughout the U.S. and also directly, through the AxioComm website.

 Bartronics America: Bartronics America of East Windsor has been acquired by Systems America (Pleasanton, Calif.), a cloud computing and IT solutions provider that has been on an acquisitions rampage. Bartronics, a global company, has estimated total revenue of $36 million for fiscal year 2012. It specializes in business analysis, software development, project analysis and management, data warehousing and data implementation and support. The company also specializes in RFID systems.

Systems America said the acquisition will help it compete with tier one service companies, which pursue larger market opportunities here and overseas. It also provides the company entry into verticals like manufacturing. Venkat Maram, CEO of Bartronics America since 2010, will lead the new business as CEO.

Everite: Precision machining and assembly company Everite Machine Products, which uses a lot of proprietary software to run its custom-engineered solutions, moved from Philadelphia to Pennsauken, N.J., just as Superstorm Sandy struck, its president, Bruce Merganthal, told NJTechWeekly in an email.

The new location will house all the company’s product lines including precision machining and assembly, custom engineering, burr-free machine tools and abrasive cut-off work. Everite offers many custom-engineered solutions through which its team helps customers with their concept from prototype design to production state, Merganthal said.

Merganthal noted that New Jersey was very responsive to Everite when it learned the company was considering a move, and was extremely proactive in its approach. Sandi Kelly, of the Camden County Economic and Workforce Development, sponsored a meeting with Everite management that included Joseph Constance, the domestic business advocate for the New Jersey Business Action Center, and Justin Kenyan, of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA). Senior management was very impressed by the incentive programs discussed that promote job creation, workforce development and energy-efficient projects. New Jersey provides low-cost financing incentives and manufacturing equipment and employment investment tax credits, he added.

Everite plans to expand its existing lines of business and is looking at opportunities to acquire other businesses, some of which may be able to be folded into the Pennsauken facility. The company currently has approximately 40 employees, all working at its new location.

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