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Sirit Set to Acquire Tag Maker RSI ID

The acquisition is expected to complement and diversify Sirit's existing product line, better serve its current markets and afford entry into new ones.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Mar 06, 2008Canadian firm Sirit is set to purchase RSI ID technologies, a privately held California-based RFID tag maker specializing in customized passive RFID tags. Sirit's chief financial officer, Anastasia Chodarcewicz, and RSI ID's chief executive officer, Wolf Bielas, say the merger marks a significant growth opportunity for both firms.

"There was complementary technology, opportunities and benefits for both companies to come together," Chodarcewicz says, adding that the RSI ID merger is different than Sirit's 2006 purchase of debt-strapped RFID reader maker SAMSys (see Sirit to Buy SAMSys Technologies), followed by reader maker TradeWind Technologies later that same year.

Anastasia Chodarcewicz
Those deals brought together three reader manufacturers that had targeted similar industries with comparable products. In the wake of the acquisitions, Sirit reduced its staff by more than 25 percent and closed two of its locations (see Sirit Lays Off Staff, Closes Plants).

Chodarcewicz indicates such cuts were planned from the onset of the acquisitions, adding that Sirit does not intend to take a similar tack with its purchase of RSI ID. "This is not a synergy play," she says. "It's an opportunity to grow our operations and talent base." She notes, however, that if the company identifies a means of creating efficiencies in its operations through cuts, "we will take advantage of those [opportunities]."

Michael Liard, RFID research director for market research firm ABI Research, says the merger of Sirit and RSI ID is indicative of a trend ABI has been tracking: "RFID reader vendors providing value-add by innovating on top of standard RF protocols." By acquiring RSI ID, he says, Sirit should benefit by "enabling an end-to-end-solutions approach and diversifying its product mix to include tags and inlays," which will help the company gain a stronger foothold in its current target markets and gain entry into new ones.

Sirit has a large customer base in RFID-enabled electronic toll payment systems and automatic vehicle identification products. Its acquisition of SAMSys helped it edge into supply chain applications, where its customers include German retail giant Metro Group. RSI ID has developed a niche in customized RFID inlays and antenna designs, and currently offers more than 60 inlay designs.

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