Safran to decide on Morpho buyer by end of month

September 14, 2016 - 

Safran is expected to make a decision on the acquisition of its Morpho biometrics and security unit for more than 2 billion euros (US$2.5 billion) by the end of the month, according to a report by Reuters which cites an individual close to the process.

The report comes a few weeks after Safran narrowed the sale of its biometric identification unit Morpho to a shortlist of five bidders: SIM card manufacturers Gemalto and Oberthur, as well as investment fund firms Bain Capital, CVC Capital Partners and KKR.

At the time, all five offers were said to be worth about 2 billion euros (US$2.2 billion), with each bidder asked to follow up with an offer in September.

Safran, which declined to comment, expects to receive offers from the five bidders by Friday.

“Everything is happening so that it can be done by the end of this month,” the person said, asking not to be identified.

Another individual involved in the process said the highest offer was worth about 2.2 billion euros, and that a third round of bidding could not be ruled out.

Oberthur and private equity firm Advent International have offered to keep the business headquartered in France, along with its research and development activities, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

Bain Capital and its partner French private equity firm Ardian said they will invest about 1 billion euros over 5 to 6 years to develop Morpho, a person familiar with the bid said.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.