Security Experts:

Apple to Acquire Biometric Security Firm AuthenTec for $350 Million

Apple has agreed to acquire AuthenTec, a provider of mobile and network security technologies including biometric fingerprint sensors and encryption technology for more than $350 million in cash.

Under the terms of the agreement, Apple will pay $8 per share in cash, representing about a 58% premium over Thursday's price at the close of trading.

Apple to Acquire AuthenTec

The news comes just a day after Dallas De Atley, manager of the platform security team at Apple, stood in front of a crowd of attendees at the Black Hat USA conference and outlined the company's approach to protecting iOS, but disappointed attendees by offering little additional information to what was already known.

AuthenTec says it has shipped more than 100 million fingerprint sensors that have been integrated into various electronics including over 15 million mobile phones. The company has 200 filed and issued U.S. patents in areas such as biometric fingerprint sensor industry and cover sensor and packaging design, software, end user applications and embedded security.

The company says its largest customers include ones such as Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Fujitsu, HBO, HP, Lenovo, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Samsung, Sky, and Texas Instruments.

It’s unclear how Apple plans to integrate AuthenTec’s technology into its product line, but based on the company’s product offerings, it's likely that Apple products could be carrying new biometric security features in the not too distant future.

Under the terms of the deal, if either party terminates the agreement, or antitrust approvals block the deal, Apple will be required to pay the AuthenTec a termination fee of $20.0 million.

On July 26, 2012, Apple and AuthenTec entered into an agreement under which Apple would pay $20 million to acquire non-exclusive licenses and certain other rights with respect to AuthenTec's hardware technology, software technology and patents. Additionally, Apple will have 270 days from the date of the IP Agreement to choose, in its sole discretion, to license certain hardware technology and patents and/or certain software technology and patents on a perpetual, non-exclusive basis for an aggregate sum of up to $115.0 million

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.