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Looking for more juice, Precise Biometrics sells a hunk of stock to Egis

Looking for more juice, Precise Biometrics sells a hunk of stock to Egis
 

After a troubling fiscal 2021, Swedish biometric software maker Precise Biometrics executives have brought on a partner, selling about 12 percent of the company to industry partner Egis Technology.

The deal, which involves common shares, if fully exercised, has been valued at SEK 83.1 million, or US$8.28 million. The board of directors is expected to approve the decision at an extraordinary general meeting in September.

In announcing the placement, Precise said the investment will be used to continue its growth strategy. Adding another voice into corporate strategy is not something most management teams prefer. The share sale is a milestone in the company’s history.

Egis is taking 10 percent of Precise in a direct issue, and guaranteeing a quarter of a further rights issue, which will bring it to at least a 12 percent share ownership in total.

Precise has been managing significant change.

In February, executives announced the company’s fiscal 2021, ended December 31 without fanfare.

Net sales dropped from SEK 92.3 million (approximately $9.18 million) in 2020 to SEK 83.3 million ($8.29 million) in 2021. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization also dropped, from SEK 6.86 million ($680,000) in fiscal 2020 to SEK 1.87 ($190,000) last year.

And the company’s operating loss rose from SEK 5.79 million to SEK 14 million.

And, in the third quarter last year, Precise CEO Stefan Persson left the company just three years after assuming the top role. Persson had focused on opening the company to more biometric products while still steering Precise to a future involving more digital ID products.

A new CEO, Patrick Höijer, was ensconced the same month.

There have been indications that Precise is not in neutral. In November, the company reported that component shortages were easing in the third quarter last year. September had shown improving orders.

And executives agreed in November to buy visitor management system vendor EastCoast for SEK 80 million, or $8.8 million.

Taiwan-based Egis sells fingerprint sensors for mobile devices and software for FIDO authentication, which could overlap with Precise’s portfolio of biometrics and digital identity solutions.

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