BILLERICA, Mass. â€“ Viisage Technology, Inc. has agreed to acquire privately-held SecuriMetrics, Inc., the manufacturer of the worldâ€™s only full-function handheld iris recognition and multi-modal biometric devices, software applications and services. With this acquisition, and the completion of the pending Identix merger, Viisage will become the only U.S.-based manufacturer of a full range of handheld and multi-modal biometric recognition solutions encompassing iris, finger and face.
Under the terms of the transaction, Viisage will pay $28 million in cash, net of the $2 million in cash on the acquired companyâ€™s balance sheet. The acquisition agreement provides SecuriMetrics shareholders with the opportunity to earn up to an additional $13 million in consideration if key performance thresholds and contingencies are reached, of which $11.5 million would be paid in shares of Viisage common stock at a fixed price of $17.69 per share.
The cash portion of the purchase price is being funded from the initial $100 million investment that L-1 Investment Partners made in Viisage in 2005.
Robert V. LaPenta, Chairman of the Board of Viisage said, â€œIris-based recognition technologies are poised for growth as a highly accurate and mobile option for biometric identification. SecuriMetrics has both a unique set of products and services, as well as deep customer relationships at the local, state, federal and international level.â€
Iris recognition is a fast, accurate, and highly scalable biometric recognition technology and is a strong complement to finger and face recognition approaches. SecuriMetrics offers a full suite of hardware, software and services required to capture, encode, transmit and establish identity based on iris patterns. SecuriMetrics identity products are particularly well-suited for harsh physical environments, offering a simple to use and highly portable solution that is ideal for quickly and accurately identifying individuals in handheld military applications and field deployments.
SecuriMetrics offers the PIER (Portable Iris Enrollment & Recognition) device that stores up to 200,000 individual iris images and can perform searches and return results to an operator. Nearly 2,000 PIER devices are deployed today throughout Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Cuba, Bosnia and other areas of conflict. U.S. detention centers in Iraq and Afghanistan also use this device to manage detainees. SecuriMetrics hardware and software solutions are also used to secure physical assets (such as buildings and bases), provide positive inmate identification, and screen for insurgents against â€œwatch lists.â€
Another major area of technology innovation in final testing today is the HIIDE (Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment), the first and only portable multi-modal device in the world that will be capable of collection and identification of subjects using iris, finger and face recognitions.
â€œOur industry is ready for rapid expansion and this consolidation onto the Viisage platform is just the catalyst needed to accelerate the deployment and widespread use of iris recognition technologies,â€ said Greg Peterson, Founder and CEO of SecuriMetrics, Inc. â€œWe are extremely excited about collaborating on a shared vision to improve security through an advanced set of identity solutions.â€
Similar to its use of Viisage products, the U.S. Government uses SecuriMetrics products in support of national security and homeland defense across various federal agencies.
â€œWe believe that the use of biometrics in the War on Terror, specifically iris recognition, could help prevent another 9/11 from happening,â€ said Lieutenant Colonel Kathy De Bolt, U.S. Army Battle Laboratory in Fort Huachuca, AZ. â€œSecuriMetricsâ€™ handheld device allows flexibility of use on the battlefield and provides a level of accuracy we have not seen before with biometrics. If the use of these devices can save just one life, we will have received benefit from our investment. Our goal is to use them to save many lives and win the War on Terror.â€
In addition to military applications, integrated biometrics are of particular importance for government initiatives, such as the U.S. Registered Traveler program that allows air passengers greater conveniences at airport security checkpoints in exchange for submitting to a background check and providing personal biometric data.
Other opportunities exist for the combined company within state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as public and private correctional facilities.
â€œMore and more organizations are requiring seamlessly integrated biometric solutions -- finger, face and iris -- and this acquisition will solidify Viisage as the new standard for identity solutions,â€ said Bernard Bailey, CEO of Viisage Technology. â€œTechnological advances required to maintain this high standard will continue, fueled by our development team that will represent one of the most qualified and largest group of finger, face and iris recognition experts in the world.â€
The transaction is expected to close by the end of February 2006 and is subject to customary closing conditions. It is expected to add approximately $15 million in revenue in 2006 and $3 million in EBITDA. Holders of a majority of SecuriMetrics preferred and common stock have agreed to vote in favor of the acquisition.