BIO-key International Inc. Plans to Acquire SIC Biometrics Inc.
BIO-key International, Inc., a provider of finger biometric identification technology solutions, recently announced that the company has signed a letter of intent to acquire Montreal-based S.I.C. Biometrics Inc., manufacturers of biometric plug-in mobile fingerprint scanners, biometric proximity cards and access control solutions, through a combination of asset purchase and exclusive license arrangements. S.I.C. Biometrics is credited with developing the first fingerprint reader for Apple mobile devices. While the terms of the definitive acquisition agreements will be made public when signed, BIO-key anticipates that the acquisition would be accretive to the company in the fourth quarter of 2011. In addition to due diligence and definitive documentation, the transaction will be subject to customary closing conditions, including any necessary regulatory approvals.
Apple is the clear market leader in the tablet market and according to The Next Web; Apple's iPad is outselling the competition at a rate of 24-1. Apple states that 60percent of the Fortune 100 are using the iPad and J.P. Morgan, forecasts iPad sales will reach 31 million units in 2011. Barron's predicts sales will reach 48 million units in 2012. Looking into the not too distant future Needham analyst Charlie Wolf is forecasting that the entire tablet market will be 233 million units in 2020 and Apple will own 60 percent of the market representing 140 million units sold.
The numbers for the iPhone are equally impressive. Apple states that 80% of the Fortune 500 have deployed or are testing the iPhone. Gartner forecasts 2011 iPhone sales to be over 90 million units.
BIO-key expects that combining with S.I.C. would strengthen BIO-key's overall market reach, expanding opportunities for new projects and partnerships that can be fully satisfied via complete solutions for mobility, access control and consumer security . S.I.C. founded in 1999, designs, manufactures and internationally commercializes biometrics security products.BIO-key is recognized for developing software which utilizes a patented algorithm to deliver the fastest and most accurate commercially viable finger biometric solutions available.
"Both the iPhone and iPad version of BIO-key's enterprise application platform including the PIV-certified iFMID S.I.C.. snap-on fingerprint readers are available today and can be easily integrated into any existing application adding strong authentication and identification to replace or augment less secure passwords or pins", stated Mike DePasquale, BIO-key CEO. "Later in the year, a consumer version of the S.I.C. device for the iPhone and iPad including a wrap-around case and integrated finger scanner is expected to become available for sale at popular retail locations. Also, we will now offer a complete line of access control products for entry as well as time and attendance. One notable option is a fully integrated industry standard proximity card that includes an onboard finger scanner eliminating the requirement for expensive card readers to be located at points of entry".
Eric Talbot, President, S.I.C. Biometrics Inc, said "combining with BIO-key and their world class finger matching software used by many commercial and government entities worldwide would open an incredible opportunity to market our unique snap-on biometric reader for the iFamily of products. Also, it would rapidly expand the visibility and market reach for our other unique identity control solutions on a global basis. The S.I.C. European and Canadian operations will add to BIO-key's sales and marketing footprint and we will now offer the highest quality full and complete solutions for mobility on the most popular platforms used by enterprise and consumers alike. At the initial introduction of the production version of the iFMID device last week, we received a sizeable order from one of Canada's largest hospitals, to provide biometric capability for iPads and iPhones valued at $1.5 million dollars. The integration will allow hospital staff members to access enterprise applications without the inconvenience of inputting lengthy passwords. Traditionally, physicians have to log in using their password 40-100 times per day. The transition to the biometric solution will vastly improve efficiency," added Talbot.
"As we considered a potential acquisition it was vital to understand the size and scope of the marketplace moving forward. Upon reviewing the analysts' reports it became clear that the market for advanced mobile devices, and the Apple iPhone and iPad in particular, are positioned to generate substantial revenue streams. Ultimately, if we can capture even a small segment of the Apple device market, we believe that the impact to BIO-key's bottom line would be quite significant," stated Cecilia Welch, CFO, BIO-key International Inc.