Safran has selected a buyer for its identity verification arm. The company has announced that it has entered into “exclusive negotiations” with Advent International and affiliate BPIFrance.
Advent is the parent company of Oberthur Technologies, itself a major player in digital and identity security. As Bloomberg reports, the company outbid rival Gemalto in vying for Safran Identity & Security, with an assist from BPIFrance, the French government’s investment arm. The resulting company will boast of combined annual revenues of 2.8 billion euros, with the buyers promising not to cut jobs in France for the next two years, and to list it as a public company.
The deal resulted in part from Safran’s efforts to refocus on its core aerospace business, but it may also reflect an emerging M&A trend in the authentication and biometrics markets. With such technologies having matured considerably in recent years, some more niche specialists such as Fingerprint Cards are now exploring acquisitions to foster further growth.
In a statement announcing the development, Safran CEO Philippe Petitcolin said Safran Identity & Security’s “best-in-class technologies and world-leading positions are complementary to Oberthur Technologies and their combination will create a world champion in the technology, industrial and commercial domains.” The deal is expected to close next year.
September 29, 2016 – by Alex Perala