Viisage to Merge With Identix

The deal is valued at $770 million.
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Viisage Technology

(VISGD)

agreed to buy

Identix

(IDNX)

in a deal valued at $770 million, bringing together two companies focused on identity security products and services.

The combined company would have combined revenue of about $220 million in 2006.

Viisage will exchange 0.473 shares for each share of Identix. Those terms value each Identix share at around $8.37, based on Viisage's closing price of $17.69 Wednesday, and represent a 45% premium to Identix's last close at $5.78.

Identix has traded in a range of $4.30 to $6.73 in the last year. Shares of Viisage were dropping $1.89, or 10.7%, to $15.80 on the news. Identix jumped more than 20% to $7.

After the transaction closes, Identix shareholders will own around 59% of the combined company and Viisage shareholders will hold the rest. Viisage will appoint seven members to the board, and Identix will designate five members. The company will be based in Stamford, Conn.

Robert V. LaPenta, the chairman of Viisage, will become chairman and chief executive of the merged company. Joseph J. Atick, the CEO of Identix, will serve as vice chairman and chief strategic officer.

The companies expect to close the merger in the second quarter.