Apple to purchase fingerprint sensor developer AuthenTec for US$356m

27 Jul 2012

Apple is to purchase the Florida-based company AuthenTec for around US$356m. The deal was revealed in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday. AuthenTec is a developer of mobile and network security, including encryption technology, fingerprint sensors and identity management software.

Reuters broke the news that Apple is to pay US$8 per share, a 58-percent premium, for AuthenTec, pointing to how the Apple move could place its iPhone at the epicentre of the emerging mobile payments market.

Just this week Apple reported Q3 revenues of US$35bn and a US$8.8bn profit. Apple said it sold 26m iPhone devices in the quarter, up 28pc year-on-year and 17m iPad devices, up 84pc year-on-year.

As for AuthenTec, it became a public company in July 2007 and is traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the ticker symbol ‘AUTH’. It has been around since 1998 when it spun out from Harris Semiconductor.

According to AuthenTec, it has shipped more than 100m fingerprint sensors for integration in a wide range of portable electronics, including over 15m mobile phones.

The company’s fact file states that AuthenTec owns many of the foundational technology patents from the fingerprint biometric industry. Apparently it has an IP and patent portfolio consisting of nearly 200 issued and filed U.S. patents.

It says that its top tier customers include the likes of Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Fujitsu, HBO, HP, Lenovo, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Samsung, Sky, and Texas Instruments. 

And AuthenTec has annual revenue of about US$70m. In the filing with the SEC, it is stated that Piper Jaffray & Co. acted as “exclusive” financial adviser.

Earlier this month Samsung signed a deal with AuthenTec to offer its virtual private networking (VPN) software for Galaxy smartphone users.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic