3M to Buy Biometrics Company Cogent for $943 Million

Office supply maker 3M (MMM) agreed to buy biometrics company Cogent Inc. for $943 million, or $10.50 a share.

A subsidiary of 3M will begin a tender offer to buy all outstanding shares of Cogent in the next ten business days, the companies said in a statement. Cogent's board unanimously recommended that shareholders accept the offer, and the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Cogent provides finger, palm, face and iris biometric systems for clients such as government agencies and law enforcement agencies, as well as commercial clients.

"Adding Cogent Systems' products to our business strengthens our product portfolio and services in high security credential issuance and authentication systems and positions 3M's business in law enforcement applications," said Mike Delkoski, vice president and general manager, 3M Security Systems Division.

Cogent had revenue of about $130 million in 2009. The company, based in California, employs about 500 people. The deal will be worth $430 million net of cash acquired.

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