Viisage to Buy Identix in $770M Stock Deal

Thursday, January 12th 2006, 9:48 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Viisage Technology Inc. is paying about $770 million in stock for Identix Inc. in a deal that it said will create a powerhouse in technology used by law enforcement agencies and businesses to authenticate documents and identify people.

Billerica, Mass.-based Viisage makes identity systems that help assure that credentials are valid and documents are genuine, while Identix, based in Minnetonka, Minn., provides technology including fingerprint, facial and skin biometric systems.

The companies said in announcing the deal on Thursday that their combined operations are expected to have about $220 million in revenue and at least $40 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2006.

Under terms of the deal, Identix shareholders will receive 0.473 new shares of Viisage for each Identix share they own. At Wednesday's closing price of $17.69 a share for Viisage, that would give the Identix shareholders stock worth about stock $8.37, or a 45 percent premium over its closing price of $5.78 on Wednesday.

While Identix shareholders will own about 59 percent of the combined company, Viisage Chairman Robert V. LaPenta will become chairman and chief executive of the combined company and Viisage will have seven of the 12 seats on the board of the combined company.

Identix CEO Joseph J. Atick will become vice chairman and chief strategic officer.

The acquisition has been approved by both companies' boards, and is expected to close in this year's second quarter, subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals. The companies said certain affiliates have agreed to vote in favor of the merger.