Biometrics firms find a match

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Thursday, August 4, 2005

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.--Cross Match Technologies, a developer of optical fingerprint identification systems, completed its acquisition of similarly focused Jena, Germany-based Smiths Heimann Biometrics on August 1.
Cross Match purchased the company in a stock-for-stock transaction from Smiths Group, a London-based, publicly held engineering company. The deal was first announced on July 19.
Will Smith, senior vice president and general counsel at Cross Match, said the company plans to phase out the SHB name in the future. However, he did not provide a timetable for the rebranding efforts.
"There's value in the Smiths name and we will continue to use that in the marketplace," stated Smith. "For all intents and purposes, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cross Match."
Smiths Group gained a minority stake of approximately 40 percent, as a result of the deal. The company said in a statement in July, that SHB earned GBP 13 million ($23 million)
in its fiscal year that ended June 2005.
Smith declined to disclose the full financial terms of the deal, citing Cross Match is privately held .However, he did describe the transaction as substantial.
Smith said the industry should expect Cross Match to continue to vet and complete similar deals in the biometrics space.
"We are a company looking forward to grow and acquisitions are part of that growth strategy."