3M to acquire Cogent Systems for $943 million; biometric ID tech

3M says it will acquire biometric identification system maker Cogent Systems for approximately $943 million.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor on

3M on Monday announced that it would acquire biometric identification system maker Cogent Systems for $10.50 per share, or approximately $943 million.

Of interest, of course, is the Pasadena, Calif.-based company's finger, palm, face and iris biometric systems for governments, law enforcement agencies and commercial applications.

Its Automated Fingerprint/Palmprint Identification Systems, or AFIS, capture fingerprint and palm print images electronically, encode them into searchable files and accurately compare them to a database of millions in mere seconds.

3M already has a suite of ID products, including border management products; document manufacturing and issuance systems for IDs, passports, and visas; document readers and verification products; and counterfeit- and tamper-proof security materials, such as laminates.

Cogent will become a subsidiary of 3M, complementing the company's existing portfolio and allowing Cogent to extend its reach across the globe. Founder and CEO Ming Hsieh will remain "an integral part of the combined business going forward," according to the announcement.

The market for biometric technology is around $4 billion globally, and is projected to grow faster than 20 percent per year, the companies say.

"Cogent Systems has done a tremendous job establishing a strong presence in the biometric industry," said Mike Delkoski, vice president and general manager, 3M Security Systems Division. "Adding Cogent Systems' products to our business strengthens our product portfolio and services in high security credential issuance and authentication systems and positions 3M's business in law enforcement applications. It also expands our reach into access control and other commercial ID and authentication applications."

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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