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Lockheed Looks for a Savi Buyer

The defense contractor seeks to sell off its 433 MHz RFID tag and reader division, which plans to shift its marketing and product-development focus to the commercial sector.
By Claire Swedberg
Nov 11, 2011Citing Savi Technology's need to grow in commercial sectors—as opposed to the military, on which the bulk of its business has traditionally been focused—defense contractor Lockheed Martin intends to sell its 433 MHz RFID tag and reader division. Lockheed Martin expects the sale to take place within the next year.

"While there have been a host of events that have led to this point," says Heather Kelly, a Lockheed Martin spokesperson, "the decision to sell Savi reflects a solid business rationale that recognizes that there are fewer opportunities with Savi's products in our core Lockheed Martin market areas."

Savi's William Clark
When Lockheed Martin purchased Savi Technology in 2006, Kelly says, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) provided a strong demand for Savi's RFID readers and tags, as well as its proprietary software to track objects on which tags were affixed (see Lockheed Martin Buys Savi). Savi, based in Alexandria, Va., has been the primary provider of active RFID solutions for the DOD, particularly in the agency's In-Transit Visibility network, which monitors the movements of containers and products through the supply chain by means of 433 MHz active RFID tags, readers and software.

That business peaked in 2008, says Bill Clark, Savi Technology's CEO, about two years after Lockheed Martin acquired the company. As the U.S. military's demand for active RFID technology declined, she explains, along with the economic downturn, Savi has been increasingly refocusing its efforts to include the commercial sector.

"The market for Savi products and services remains attractive," Kelly states, "but is developing in markets outside LM's core market interests."

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