Verizon to buy Dublin-based GPS vehicle tracking firm Fleetmatics for $2.4 bn

Verizon Communications Inc, the largest US wireless company, yesterday struck a deal to buy GPS vehicle tracking firm Fleetmatics Group Plc for about $2.4 billion in cash.

Under the terms of the deal, Verizon has offered to pay $60 per share, a premium of about 40 per cent to Fleetmatics' Friday closing price.

The deal comes a week after Verizon, agreed to buy Yahoo Inc's core internet assets for $4.83 billion in order to strengthen its digital media and advertising business. (See: Verizon to buy Yahoo's operating business for $4.83 bn) The Fleetmatics deal will help Verizon's subsidiary Verizon Telematics, which offers wireless, software and hardware solutions to consumers, enterprises, automakers and dealers to power connected-vehicle products around the world.

In June, Verizon Telematics acquired California-based Telogis, a maker of cloud-based commercial vehicles tracking and navigation software used by car makers such as Ford.

The latest acquisition will help Verizon capture market share in the "highly fragmented and pretty under-penetrated" fleet and mobile workforce management business, said, Andrés Irlando, CEO of Verizon Telematics in an interview,

Founded in 2004 in Dublin, Fleetmatics is a global provider of mobile workforce solutions for service-based businesses of all sizes delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS).

Its offerings help businesses to manage local fleets, and improve the productivity of their mobile workforces, by giving real-time and historical vehicle and driver behavioral data.

Fleetmatics Web-based solutions provide fleet operators with visibility into vehicle location, fuel usage, speed and mileage.

Fleetmatics has around 37,000 customers and approximately 737,000 subscribed vehicles throughout Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, the UK, the US and Italy.

''Fleetmatics is a market leader in North America - and increasingly internationally - and they've developed a wide-range of compelling SaaS-based products and solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses,'' Andrés Irlando said in a statement.

''Verizon and Fleetmatics share a vision that the SaaS-based fleet management solution market is extraordinarily large, lightly penetrated, global and fragmented which can best be attacked together with a world class product offering and the largest distribution channel in the industry,'' said Jim Travers, chairman and CEO of Fleetmatics.