IDenticard goes to Brady

GE sheds businesses that came with 2003 EST buy
Saturday, April 1, 2006

MILWAUKEE--Over the past few years, Brady Corp. has steadily built its people identification business through a series of acquisitions, but its latest purchase of GE IDenticard Systems and Canadian counterpart IDenticam is its largest deal to date.
The February purchase of two businesses from GE Security provides Brady Corp. with expertise in the access control and ID card system market. Together, IDenticard and IDenticam reported sales of $33 million in 2005 and served 30,000 customers in the healthcare, education, government and educational markets. The purchase price was not released.
IDenticard and IDenticam join four other businesses Brady Corp. has bought in the identification market over the last several years. That includes Temtec and Stopware, two temporary badging solutions companies; J.A.M. Plastics, a manufacturer of access control accessories, such as badge holders and lanyards; and BIGBadge, a company that serves the United Kingdom and France.
"We've developed a strategy around people ID," said Tom Felmer, vice president, direct marketing Americas for Brady Corp, about the GE IDenticard and IDenticam acquisitions. "It rounds out that group of companies."
For IDenticard and IDenticam, the latest transaction represents a third owner in a three-year period. The two went from being privately held to joining Edwards Systems Technology in early 2003 as part of EST's effort to build its access control offering. GE Security then bought EST in early 2005.
It didn't take long, however, for GE Security to decide that the IDenticard and IDenticam business were not core to its operations.
According to Connie Higgins, a spokesperson for GE Security, the company regularly looks at its operations to ensure it is in a position to grow and serve its clients. "In some cases, some units are better aligned with other businesses where they can get the attention and investment they need to be as competitive and successful as possible," said Higgins. "We believe this change will benefit IDenticard Systems and GE Security."
Now that IDenticard and IDenticam are part of Brady Corp., Felmer expects to leverage its reach in the market. It represents a significant portion of Brady Corp.'s people identification business, contributing $33 million to a group with $45 million in annual sales. Brady Corp. also gains operations in Lancaster, Pa., and Toronto, Canada, 156 employees and general manager Bob Hager.