Gemalto acquires Green Bit to integrate fingerprint scanners with business unit

Gemalto has acquired Green Bit to offer its biometric scanners as part of complete automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS) offerings, the company says.

The deal is disclosed in Gemalto’s annual report for 2018, which notes an increasing use of biometric scanners by governments for identity management purposes. Gemalto says the acquisition will enable it to offer its customers high-quality scanners that compliment its portfolio of document readers.

Green Bit will also enhance Gemalto’s research and development capabilities and help it develop new technologies more quickly.

Though no concrete assurances are contained in the annual report, it seems that most or all of the approximately 50 Green Bit employees split between Turin, Italy, and Tianjin, China will be retained, as the company is integrated with Gemalto’s Government Business Unit.

Gemalto has set aside €27.6 million for the transaction, though the final price has not yet been determined.

Green Bit had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

For calendar 2018, Gemalto reported revenue of €2.969 billion, a 3 percent increase from 2017 on a constant currency basis, with a gross margin of 37 percent, for adjusted basic earnings per share of €2.35, up from €1.96 last year.

Thales and Gemalto have also received antitrust approval from the U.S. Department of Justice, giving the companies 12 of the 14 regulatory approvals needed to complete their merger. The companies expect the deal to close later this month. The European Commission approved the merger, conditional on Thales sale of its nShield business, late last year.

Gemalto’s contactless biometric payment cards, meanwhile, continue to be piloted by an increasing number of financial institutions.

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