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3M to buy biometrics firm Cogent for $943 million

Cogent, which sells biometric ID systems to governments, law enforcement, and businesses, will be swallowed up by the massive conglomerate.


3M has signed a deal to acquire biometric security firm Cogent Systems for $943 million, the companies announced Monday.

According to 3M, it will pay $10.50 per share for Cogent, representing an 18 percent premium over the stock price at market close Friday. 3M will purchase all shares of Cogent "within 10 business days," according to the agreement.

Pasadena, Calif.-based Cogent sells finger, palm, iris, and face biometric systems to governments, law enforcement, and businesses.

The decision of 3M--a massive conglomerate--to acquire Cogent is based on its view that the biometrics market is booming. Cogent is a player in the $4 billion market, which 3M asserts will grow more than 20 percent over the next year. 3M said it is especially interested in using Cogent's services to reach law enforcement agencies.

"Adding Cogent Systems' products to our business strengthens our product portfolio and services in high security credential issuance and authentication systems and positions 3M's business in law enforcement applications," Mike Delkoski, vice president of 3M's security systems division, said in a statement. "It also expands our reach into access control and other commercial ID and authentication applications."

While possibly best known for Scotch tape and Post-it notes, 3M is a huge conglomerate with more than $23 billion in annual sales and dozens of technology platforms, including in graphics, electronics, communications, health care, and security.

Cogent's board has accepted the offer, the companies said, and 3M expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter.