Can BIO-Key’s S.I.C. Biometrics Acquisition Spur Company’s Growth?

On August 15, BIO-Key International, the Wall-based fingerprint ID tech solutions company, announced it had signed a letter of intent to acquire Montreal-based S.I.C. Biometrics. S.I.C. manufactures plug-in mobile fingerprint scanners, biometric proximity cards and access control solutions.

Speaking at BIO-Key’s Q2 2011 conference call, company officials, while mindful of making forward statements, used words like “monumental” and “outstanding opportunity,” hardly containing their excitement about the potential for revenue from their acquisition.

The deal gives BIO-Key access to the lucrative iPhone and iPad market for the enterprise and healthcare. Di Pasquale said the company is also going after the consumer market. “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.” In a statement during the conference call Di Pasquale said the market was not limited to Apple products. “We can integrate into any device out there.”

As a key potential market, the company points to the healthcare industry. Biometric technologies will make it easier for physicians to harness the iPad without having to input sophisticated passwords. S.I.C’s Eric Talbot President & CEO added that physicians have to enter their passwords at least 40 times a day, activity that could be eliminated by the fingerprint recognition.

The leadership team at BIO-key will remain intact and BIO-Key’s headquarters is expected to stay in N.J. Mike DePasquale will remain as the Company’s CEO. Talbot will become Vice President of BIO-key’s Mobility Division. The current team of Randy Fodero VP Sales and Scott Mahnken VP Marketing will also remain and will assume responsibility for the same functions in the integrated company, according to a press announcement. The company will gain a sales office outside of Paris which will become BIO-Key’s European headquarters.

In a supplemental release, BIO-Key addressed some issues common stock holders may have with  the company’s performance so far, launching a spirited defense of the company.

 “While we are deeply disappointed with our present stock price and the lack of more significant revenue traction, the management team is proud of what it has been able to accomplish. With marginal resources relative to its competitors and operating in a market space that has had almost no demand for biometrics in the past, the company has been able to survive, while others have failed.”

“Through incredible sustained effort and creativity we have eliminated $16 million of debt, thus creating substantial shareholder value. We have taken a company with embryonic biometric science and created one of the leading finger biometric products on the market – the technology is so accurate, scalable and robust that it is the core technology used by the FBI in its Next Generation Identification program. Every single employee at BIO-key receives part of their compensation in the form of stock options and the value of those options is totally dependent on our performance and ultimately the price of our shares.”

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