Electronic components maker Tyco Electronics Ltd. said Thursday that it would sell its Wireless Systems business to Harris Corp. for $675 million in cash.
Bermuda-based Tyco, which has its executive offices in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, said the price Melbourne, Florida-based Harris will pay is subject to final working capital adjustments. Lowell, Massachusetts-based Wireless Systems develops large-scare critical communications systems. The unit had sales of $461 million in fiscal 2008.
Harris is a communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets. It said the Tyco wireless systems business was complementary with its Harris RF Communications unit, which provides secure voice and data communications networks to military and government customers.
Harris said the acquisition would be a "significant contributor" to earnings in fiscal 2011 and beyond but cautioned that US growth in land mobile radio systems could slow over the next year or two as state and local governments face pressure from the weak economy.
"We believe once we get through the budget crunch, however, there's a large amount of pent-up demand for new systems and system expansion," Harris Chairman and CEO Howard Lance said. "We see this over the longer term, three to five year time frame, as an opportunity to grow certainly at high-single-digit kind of rates," he added.
Tyco Electronics CEO Tom Lynch said, "The sale of the Wireless Systems business will increase our focus on our core connectivity business and substantially completes the streamlining of our portfolio that we began two years ago.''
Tyco Electronics Wireless Systems is the third-largest provider of mobile communications for public safety agencies, behind Motorola and European Aerospace and Defense Systems. Public safety agencies account for 75 per cent of its business. Another 10 to 12 per cent comes from federal customers such as the Army and Navy. The remainder is derived from commercial customers.
Tyco Wireless Electronics Systems serves more than 1 million users worldwide, and its customers include the states of Pennsylvania, Florida, and Nevada, law enforcement agencies in Miami and Las Vegas, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Morgan Stanley and Jones Day advised Harris, while Barclays Capital and law firm Davis Polk advised Tyco Electronics.
Tyco Electronics forecast an operating loss for the quarter ended March 27 of $3.6 billion to $4.1 billion, including a goodwill impairment charge of more than $3.3 billion due to significant sales and earnings declines. Excluding items, it expects operating earnings of $75 million in the quarter. Tyco Electronics also said sales for the quarters were $2.46 billion, roughly in line with analyst estimates.