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EyeLock and GalvanEyes merge to create BioCenturion LLC

EyeLock and GalvanEyes merge to create BioCenturion LLC

VOXX International subsidiary EyeLock LLC, which provides iris biometrics for identity verification, has announced its merger with GalvanEyes Partners LLC to form a new company, BioCenturion LLC. The joint venture agreement will see the companies combine their technology, R&D, sales, marketing, and business development units, with an eye to new avenues for growth.

GalvanEyes was already the exclusive distributor of EyeLock products in the EU, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, Malaysia and Singapore. The new joint venture is split 50/50, with GalvanEyes as the managing member responsible for all working capital needs and day-to-day operations over the first two years. EyeLock will have veto over key issues, including amendments to the operating and financing arrangements, acquisitions, or a potential sale. Following the two-year period, the companies intend to take stock and evaluate their next iteration.

Per the release, in the event of “a capital event”, EyeLock gets preferential distribution rights that grant it roughly 77 percent of the first US$45 million, versus GalvanEyes’ 23 percent share. Anything on top of the $45M will be split evenly between the companies.

The merger has also resulted in some people shuffling. Helming the new entity is a familiar face: Allen Ibaugh served both as President of EyeLock and CEO of GalvanEyes, and will now lead BioCenturion. Beat Kahli, formerly President of VOXX International, has stepped down but will serve as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of BioCenturion.

VOXX, a global manufacturer and distributor of automotive and consumer tech, calls the deal a win-win situation that will relieve VOXX of the operating costs needed to support EyeLock, which has posted financial losses, while retaining the biometrics company’s potential.

“Our Biometrics segment has recorded losses since its inception and while we have several large opportunities in development and on the horizon, the business is expected to generate losses near-term,” says Pat Lavelle, CEO of VOXX International. The joint venture, he says, will “reallocate capital and generate further savings for VOXX.”

Beat Kahli says that having worked closely with VOXX for a year, he felt the need for a pivot to focus on building a robust biometrics business that generates returns. “I saw value in EyeLock years ago which is what prompted the formation of GalvanEyes,” says Kahli. “Now, we have a chance to combine the companies’ respective strengths and turn our vision into reality, which will increase value for BioCenturion and for VOXX shareholders.”

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