HID Global buys Integrated Engineering

Move should help OEM customers see on-demand product faster
Tuesday, May 1, 2007

IRVINE, Calif.--HID Global, a division of Assa Abloy and access control manufacturer, announced in late February the purchase of Integrated Engineering, an Amsterdam-based company that develops and manufactures contactless smart card solutions. Terms of the deal were not released.
Integrated Engineering will continue to operate as a separate business, but its management will now report to HID Global's European management. With technology partners such as Johnson Controls, Siemens, Lenel and Giesecke & Devrient, Integrated Engineering has a reputation as a flexible OEM that can adapt its products quickly to meet customer needs.
However, "We were not buying them for their customer base," said William West, chief financial officer at HID Global, who joined the company in January of 2006 as director of mergers and acquisitions and was thus heavily involved in the merger with Fargo Electronics last year. "This is a chance to serve our OEM customers better." He said IE's rapid engineering response to customer demands would be a great fit with HID Global's "capabilities for strong distribution and rapid delivery of finished products."
"Customers will see a benefit this year," he said.
Douglas Lloyd, director and founder of Venture Business Research Limited, a security finance research firm based in London, said West's comments jibe with what they're seeing in European mergers and acquisition activity. "The HID/Integrated Engineering transaction points to the growing need for larger security businesses to re-enforce their offerings with best-of-breed, cutting-edge technologies," he said. Further, "with the continued flow of private institutional investment in the access control space, we expect to see further consolidation in the sector in 2007."
He said more than $4 billion has been invested worldwide by financial and corporate investors in private-security related technology companies since 2004.
West also said the acquisition was in line with Assa Abloy's acquisition strategy. As the company's first objective is strong organic growth, "the acquisitions we make going forward will certainly be focused on technology."