Viisage to acquire Iridian

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Digital identification vendor Viisage has agreed to acquire Iridian Technologies, maker of iris recognition solutions, for $35 million.

Viisage's chairman, Robert V. LaPenta, said the acquisition, announced Monday, will complement the company's biometrics product line. Viisage solutions include secure credentials, such as travel documents, driver's licenses and smart cards.

Iridian, based in Moorestown, N.J., holds patents in iris recognition technology, considered one of the most accurate biometrics identifiers. The technology, notably used as part of the United Arab Emirates border control program, identifies people by the pattern of their iris, the colored ring surrounding the pupil.

"With direct access to the (intellectual property) that underpins the iris recognition market, our business will realize improved margins and cost synergies, as well as significant revenue opportunities," LaPenta said. "Most importantly, we believe the market will now be primed for accelerated growth…"

Under the deal, scheduled to close in August, Billerica, Mass.-based Viisage also received a $6.5 million reduction in potential contingency payments to SecuriMetrics, acquired by Viisage in February. That makes the net cost of the Iridian acquisition $28.5 million.

"This acquisition brings together the premiere iris device and database management provider with the recognized leader in iris algorithm development and will provide tremendous benefits to our customers and the overall market," said Greg Peterson, founder and CEO of SecuriMetrics.

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