Visionics, Identix unveil merger

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Monday, April 1, 2002

JERSEY CITY, N.J.-Facial recognition company Visionics Corp. and fingerprint recognition system maker Identix announced plans to merge in a deal that will likely marry technology from the two different companies to tap into the growing biometrics market.

The deal, valued at $600 million, is being touted as a "merger of equals" even though when completed, Identix shareholders will own 52.4 percent of the stock and Visionics shareholders will own approximately 47.6 percent.

Company officials say that each biometrics firm is respected in its field and will create a security firm positioned to lead the industry in biometrics.

"Joined together, Identix and Visionics have the opportunity to build on each company's security technologies to help again make our world more secure," said Robert McCashin, current chairman and chief executive officer of Los Gatos, Calif.-based Identix, who will serve as chairman of the new company.

Dr. Joseph Atick, current chairman and chief executive officer of Jersey City, N.J.-based Visionics, said the merger will likely "accelerate the adoption of biometrics." Atick, who will serve as chief executive officer of the new company, said that analysts predict the biometrics market will reach upwards of $2 billion by 2004-2005.

Continued consolidation is expected in the biometrics market, according to the chairman of the new International Biometric Industry Association. With 120 U.S. companies in the biometrics field, John Siedlarz, chairman of the association, said the biometrics industry is full of small firms working independently.

Visionics and Identix plan to capitalize on their union, said Atick, which will bring together a portfolio of complementary products and services, increases the company's customer base and taps into already established relationships with systems integrators.

"The merger between Visionics and Identix brings together the necessary ingredients that allow us to leverage our innovations in biometrics into a much larger, total security market," he said. "The growth potential unleashed by this merger is of course exciting."

Plans call for maintaining cohead-quarters on the East and West Coast. Other details about the merger will be filed in a joint proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lehman Bros. acted as the financial advisor for Identix, while Morgan Keegan & Co. served as financial advisor for Visionics on this transaction.