Motorola Solutions continued its video acquisition binge this week with the purchase of Pelco for $110 million in cash. It marks their third video surveillance acquisition in the last two years, as they continue to try and position themselves among the industries top tier suppliers.
It comes less than two months after their acquisition of UK-based IndigoVision for $37 million and their 2018 acquisition of Canadian Avigilon for around $1 billion.
The Pelco deal certainly seems to fit in with Motorola's recent strategy. John Kedzierski, Senior VP of Video Security & Analytics at Motorola Solutions, was interviewed by asmag.com after the IndigoVision deal and made the following comment;
“… Indigovision helps us extend our reach globally. Two-thirds of their revenue is from outside the U.S. For Motorola Solutions, the U.S. is the strongest region, and we are always interested in extending our geographical reach. This acquisition brings the channel, the sales organization, and a brand that would help us expand internationally.”
Likewise Pelco now brings their channel, sales organisation and customer base to Motorola. Currently both Avigilon and IndigoVision are marketed as separate brands with their own strategies and targets, so in the short term at least, they will likely take the same route with Pelco.
However as Motorola continue to hone their solutions towards critical infrastructure and law enforcement we would expect some consolidation between the three brands.
The sale to Motorola is yet another intriguing twist in the Pelco story. It was only last year that they were sold to private equity company Transom Capital Group by Schneider Electric. In 2018, Pelco had revenues of $185m and employed 478 staff.
Schneider Electric acquired Pelco in 2007 for around $1.5 billion in cash, an exit sales multiple of around 3. Schneider Electric actually has a good record of acquiring building services companies and successfully integrating them into their Building Automation business, but it proved not to be the case with Pelco, for years it was an open industry secret that they were looking to divest Pelco.
Video Surveillance is a more innovative and competitive business than Building Automation and they failed to catch up before significant price pressure in the market hit them. They also failed to make the transition from "analog stalwart" to IP technology quickly enough.
Pelco has likely found a better home under the Motorola Solutions umbrella.