Viisage, Identix Merging To Form Biometrics Giant

The new security firm, to be named at a later date, will offer a complete range of biometrics-based search, secure credentials, and other products and services to government entities.
Two major players in the biometric identity, Viisage Technology and Identix, announced Thursday that they will merge.

The complex transaction will result in the creation of a dominant biometric ID platform and a company with a new name--to be released later--and a new headquarters in Stamford, Conn.

Viisage will contribute stock worth about $770 million in the deal and the firm's current chairman Robert V. LaPenta will become chairman and chief executive officer of the combined company. Dr. Joseph J. Atick, now chief executive officer of Identix, will become chief strategic officer and vice chairman of the board.

In a statement, LePenta said: "The combination of Identix' advanced multi-biometric search technology with Viisage's expertise in secure credentials, document authentication, and verification, will create a global leader in biometric security, providing end-to-end identity solutions for state, local, national, and foreign government use, as well as a wide application across the commercial sector."

The firm said it expects the merged enterprise will record revenue of $220 million in 2006. The companies said the merger will enable them to compete for 80 percent of the market they address.

Both firms have customer relationships with the U.S. Department of State. Identix provides biometric facial recognition expertise for the U.S. VISA program while Viisage supplies U.S. passports.

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