Viisage and Identix Merge to Form Biometrics Powerhouse

Viisage and Identix, two of the most notable names in identity authentication and biometrics, are becoming one.

The companies have announced that they will merge entirely together in an all-stock transaction reportedly worth $770 million. The new company should have revenues of $220 million, and will be able to offer solutions in a variety of biometric scenarios, including finger, face, skin and imaging.

Robert LaPenta, who recently left L-3 Communications to start L-1, his technology investment company, seemed to forecast the merger when in June 2005, he told that he was seeking to create a biometrics market share leader.

"Not only is the biometric industry ripe for consolidating -- there is good technology but the companies are undercapitalized -- but it's really just emerging," said LaPenta. "There is a chance to create a dominant player in a rapidly growing market."

And so it seems, he has. LaPenta is already calling the merged company a 'global leader' in its field.

“The combination of Identix’ advanced multi-biometric search technology with Viisage’s expertise in secure credentials, document authentication and verification will create a global leader in biometric security, providing end-to-end identity solutions for state, local, national and foreign government use, as well as a wide application across the commercial sector,” said LaPenta in a statement announcing the merger. “With its proven technology, strength of management and services, and marquee customer base, the combined entity has the ability to achieve significant revenue growth and profitability.”

Once the merge is completed, Dr. Joseph Atick, CEO of Identix will become the vice chairman of the combined Identix/Viisage board of directors. He will also serve as the Chief Strategic Officer for the merged company.