B.C.’s Sierra Wireless acquired by Semtech for US$1.2 billion

With files from Howard Solomon

There was big news on the British Columbia tech scene yesterday when it was announced that Semtech Corp., a supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and algorithms, has acquired Sierra Wireless Inc. for US$1.2 billion.

Based in Richmond, B.C., Sierra Wireless makes a wide range of WiFi and embedded cellular modules and gateways for original equipment manufacturers, as well as offering cloud solutions for managing products and data. Units are in everything from smart lockers, to building HVAC systems, to transport trucks. Many chief information security officers would know the company through its Airlink routers and gateways.

The company focuses on three markets: Industrial Edge for manufacturing asset monitoring; Mobile Edge for mobile asset tracking; and Infrastructure Edge for commercial infrastructure.

According to a release issued by Semtech, which is headquartered in Camarillo, Calif., the acquisition “brings together two important technologies for the future of IoT – Long Range Radio (LoRA) and cellular – to enable the digitization of the industrial world with a comprehensive chip-to-cloud platform.”

Plans call for Semtech to purchase all outstanding shares of Sierra Wireless for US$31 a share, which is 25 per cent higher than it was on the last day the stock traded late last week.

“We believe the next era of technology growth is the full digitization of our industrial world – the Internet of Everything,” said Mohan Maheswaran, president and chief executive officer of Semtech.

“Our vision is to build a simple, horizontal platform with the goal of accelerating this transformation and to bring about a smarter and more sustainable planet.”

Phil Brace, president and CEO of Sierra Wireless, said that over the last year, the company has “taken decisive steps to profitably grow the business.

“Together with Semtech, we will be able to extend the reach of IoT solutions by scaling, optimizing and ultimately delivering an even stronger product portfolio and service model to customers.”

Semtech said it “expects the combined company will be well positioned to serve high growth segments such as supply chain, logistics and asset management, utilities, including water, gas and electric metering, smart cities and building, including air quality monitoring and public safety, and smart agriculture and species protection.”

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Paul Barker
Paul Barker
Paul Barker is the founder of PBC Communications, an independent writing firm that specializes in freelance journalism. He has extensive experience as a reporter, feature writer and editor and has been covering technology-related issues for more than 30 years.

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