Human Interface Expert Synaptics Enters Fingerprint ID Market with Acquisition of Validity

By Tony Rizzo October 09, 2013

Long-time human interface solutions player Synaptics recently signed a Definitive Agreement to acquire Validity Sensors, a key provider of biometric fingerprint authentication solutions for smartphones, tablets and notebook PCs. Most of us likely know Synaptics best for its laptop touchpads, which enable and provide gesture-based controls for laptops that lack touchscreens.

With the acquisition of Validity, Synaptics will look to gain a substantial foothold within the fast-growing biometrics market, and will look to significantly expand its market opportunities. The acquisition clearly underscores the company's commitment to making smart devices easier to use. Obviously the recent introduction of Apple's fingerprint scanning capabilities further solidifies the serious opportunities that exist for the technology.


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In fact, Apple itself has enough mobile market share to drive a need for its competitors and other OEMs to move quickly to differentiate their products - this clearly helps to set the stage for the biometrics and fingerprint sensing market to now go through a period of explosive growth. This growth will further be fueled by consumer demand for greater security with seamless ease-of-use.

Clearly, the acquisition of Validity positions Synaptics to immediately leap to the forefront of this exponential growth opportunity and it will allow the company to strengthen its portfolio of touch-based technologies. It is, we believe, an excellent fit for Synaptics, and dovetails beautifully with the company's current suite of human interface technologies. It allows Synaptics to diversify its product offerings in a well-coordinated manner. Synaptics is already on a trajectory to over $1 billion in yearly revenue and the Validity deal will certainly take the combined company well North of that mark.

Validity itself already owns a leading role in Natural ID authentication, and already provides fingerprint sensing solutions to many leading global consumer device OEMs. Validity’s authentication solutions include its LiveFlex fingerprint sensor technology, delivers high image quality through high-frequency RF imaging into the live layer of the finger. Validity's Natural ID solutions will, we believe, provide the perfect platform for Synaptics to effectively address and tap into the already-noted explosive growth of biometric sensing - which will manifest itself in numerous ways, ranging from mobile payment transactions and cloud-based services to enterprise mobile device security.

Validity CEO Rob Baxter says, "Synaptics' acquisition of Validity puts our vision of having Natural ID on every mobile computing device literally on the fast track. The opportunity for our people, our shareholders and our technology, along with Synaptics' commitment to owning the human interface, made this partnership a natural fit. The acquisition adds Validity's world-class biometrics engineering team to a Synaptics team known for in-depth, system level engineering expertise."

Synaptics will acquire Validity for approximately $92.5 million in stock and cash at the closing. The deal will also include potential performance payments over a multi-year period, which sets the stage for a total potential deal value of up to $255 million. The stock component is expected to be in the range of 1.5 million to 2.3 million shares. The acquisition is expected to close in the current quarter, and is of course subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory reviews, as necessary.

Rick Bergman, president and CEO of Synaptics notes that, "Biometrics has long been of interest to Synaptics, as it clearly complements our existing touch-based solutions and offers an exciting new way to interact with numerous types of devices. We are thrilled to be adding the world class Validity team to the Synaptics family. This acquisition is a significant step forward for the company and serves as a proof point of our dedication for continued growth, innovation and commitment to providing the industry's best and broadest portfolio of human interface solutions."




Edited by Rachel Ramsey

TechZone360 Senior Editor

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