There’s Always a Bigger Fish

Mergers and acquisitions have been a steady occurrence in the RFID ocean of late, with HID Global dominating the currents.

This past year or so, there has been a batch of merging and acquiring going on in the radio frequency identification industry. “There’s always a bigger fish,” as the old maxim (not to mention Star Wars‘ Qui-Gon Jinn) tells us, and in the RFID ocean, that has been proven true time and again.

Avery Dennison Smartrac acquired TexTrace, enabling it to market 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 offerings by purchasing Laird Connectivity’s external antenna business (see TE Connectivity’s Laird Acquisition Consolidates IoT Antenna Technologies). Paragon ID widened its presence in the aviation sector for baggage management by acquiring baggage tag company Security Label (see Paragon ID Prepares for Takeoff With Security Label Acquisition). And Fedrigoni Group recently acquired the majority stake of Tageos (see Tageos Tags Reflect Broadening RFID Demand and Fedrigoni Becomes Tageos Majority Shareholder).

HID Global has been an especially hungry fish of late. The company’s Textile Services division expanded its presence in the textile-management market by acquiring US-based laundry services company InvoTech Systems (see HID Expands Textile Solutions Offering with InvoTech Acquisition). Meanwhile, it added Invengo’s RFID tags, readers and software to its own product portfolio (see HID Global Acquires Invengo’s Textile Services Division).

In addition, HID acquired fellow tech companies Omni-ID (see HID Global Acquires Omni-ID and Acquisition of Omni-ID Expands HID’s Geographic RFID and IoT Presence) and Technology Solutions Ltd. UK (see Acquisition Brings Mobile UHF Reading to HID Global), boosting its RFID and Internet of Things presence. More recently, the firm added Vizinex RFID to its growing list of acquisitions (see HID Global Expands Footprint with Vizinex RFID Purchase). Now, HID has announced its purchase of ACURA, a Brazilian manufacturer and reseller of RFID hardware.

This latest expansion, according to HID, will grow its RFID portfolio while increasing the business’s relevance in Latin America. ACURA targets enterprise, industrial, logistics, transportation and retail applications for such customers as Ambev, Cargill, Sensormatic/JCI, Nike/Centauro, Fleetcor/Sem Parar, Mercedes Benz, Honda Motors, HP, ArcelorMittal and Vale SA. The company’s offerings include low-, high- and ultrahigh-frequency RFID readers, along with antennas, biometrics terminals and printers—all of which will become part of HID’s expansive catalog.

Bjorn Lidefelt, HID’s EVP, said in a prepared statement, “As the RFID market expands globally, our ambition is to grow alongside 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 become the market leader of RFID technologies, including in Brazil and Latin America.” Marc Bielmann, the firm’s senior VP and managing director of identification technologies, added, “This strategic acquisition will broaden HID’s RFID portfolio and improve our competitive advantage, since we will be able to offer a new selection of locally tailored RFID products and solutions.”

According to, “Mergers and acquisitions mean greater financial strength for both companies involved in the transaction. Having greater economic power can lead to higher market share, more influence over customers and reduced competitive threat. In most cases, bigger companies are harder to compete against.” On the other hand, Harvard Business Review cautions, “While much has been written to speculate about whether mergers improve or harm economic welfare, there is little empirical evidence supporting either side of the argument.”

HID is on track to become one of the biggest fish in the radio frequency identification ocean, as it gobbles up smaller fish with no end to its appetite in sight. Time will tell what effect this will have on the RFID biosphere, but don’t be surprised if the company nets more large catches soon. The RFID world is undergoing a major sea change of late—and that’s no fish story.

Rich Handley has been the managing editor of RFID Log since 2005. Outside the RFID world, Rich has authored, edited or contributed to numerous books about pop culture. You can contact Rich by e-mail.

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