Biometric ID Vendors Viisage, Identix Merge

The combined companies will offer biometric security technologies including facial, fingerprint and skin identification.

Two of the leading names in biometric identification have agreed to merge, in a deal estimated at $770 million.

The deal between Viisage Technology Inc. and Identix Inc. will create a single stable of biometric technologies including facial, fingerprint and skin biometric products.

The combined company, which has not yet been named, will have approximately $220 million in revenue, the companies said in a joint announcement on Thursday.

Shareholders in Identix, of Minnetonka, Minn., will receive .473 new shares of Viisage for each share of Identix stock. Identix shareholders will end up owning around 59 percent of the merged company, with Viisage shareholders in possession of the other 41 percent, the companies said.

The new company will have headquarters in Stamford, Conn., with development facilities in Massachusetts, Minn., New Jersey and Germany. It will provide "multimodal" biometric and digital credential technologies.

/zimages/3/28571.gifRead more here about the use of biometrics in security.

For example, Identixs enterprise-level data management technology and biometric matching engine will be combined with products from Viisage that can create unique credentials like passports and drivers licenses, said Dr. Joseph Atick, CEO of Identix.

The combined company will be in a better position to compete for lucrative government contracts in the United States and elsewhere.

Initiatives like the U.S. Department of Homeland Securitys US-VISIT border control program rely heavily on biometric scans to match those trying to enter the country with official travel documents.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read more about Viisages face recognition technology.

Both Viisage and Identix already work with the U.S. Department of State; Identix provides facial biometric technology for the U.S. Diversity Visa program.

Viisage provides personalization technology for U.S. passports and sells technology that produces around one third of all U.S. drivers licenses, said Bernard Bailey, Viisages CEO.

Streamlined operations, merged product portfolios and opportunities to sell into each others customer bases could make the new company profitable by late 2006, said Bailey.

The merger is expected to close in the second quarter, 2006, the companies said.

Editors Note: This story was updated to correct the spelling of Identixs name.

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