3M can't buy Avery Dennison, but completes FSTech acquisition

Sept. 5, 2012
Justice Department fought 3M merger with Avery Dennison; company still completes purchase of electronic toll and vehicle identification firm Federal Signal Technologies Group

It was the sticky notes that blocked a merger which could have impacted the security industry. The Justice Department announced yesterday that 3M had abandoned its proposed merger of Avery Dennison Corporation after the U.S. Justice Department conducted an investigation which found likelihood of existing market dominance.

While the merger might have been mainly about the “Post-it Notes” and label products in the consumer space, the merger would have also brought together two companies that have significant plays in the security industry. Avery Dennison has a ID name badge business (card stock, laminated badges and some accessories) and previously sold a visitor management software solution kit. The company also has a play in the world of RFID technologies.

3M’s security offerings are quite different from the business units of Avery Dennison, with 3M offering document and document reading solutions for identification needs, ranging from passports to driver’s licenses, as well as for airline check-in and commercial identification. 3M also offers a number of security, serialization and tracking labels for asset protection. In addition, 3M has a privacy screen business for keeping the data on computer and laptop screens only for the user’s eyes, and the company offers glass protection films design to harden windows. The company additionally also library security products such as electromagnetic gates, and its Cogent business unit produces biometric solutions used by law enforcement, federal agencies and commercial businesses.

Despite the fact that it won’t be buying Avery Dennison any time soon, 3M has stayed active in acquisitions. The firm closed this week on FSTEch (Federal Signal Technologies Group), a company which provides electronic toll collection and parking management systems. FSTech’s unit acquired by 3M included technologies for electronic tolling, vehicle identification, toll management software, license plate recognition and parking lot fare collection. FSTech has done business through its units Sirit, Federal APD, IDRIS, PIPS and VESystems.