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Argus Expands Into Asia And US With Key Acquisition

  • 01 March, 2005 16:10

<p>Australia’s leading iris recognition and identity management company Argus Solutions (ASX: ASV), is expanding into Asia by acquiring a shareholding in a complimentary biometrics company.</p>
<p>Argus Solutions CEO, Bruce Lyman said the acquisition of 100% of the shares in the Asian subsidiary company of ImageWare Systems Inc (IWS) was highly complementary to Argus’ existing business and gave the company a larger presence in the key markets of Asia and the US.</p>
<p>The deal includes a small equity exchange whereby IWS will acquire new capital in Argus at a premium of 8% to the market, while Argus will acquire equity in IWS Inc.</p>
<p>Jim Miller President and CEO of IWS, plans to join the Argus Board, and it is intended that Argus will provide a representative on the IWS Board following a planned vacancy later in the year.</p>
<p>Under the arrangement, IWS will resell Argus products into the continental American market through its 5 domestic sales offices in the USA, Canada and South America, allowing Argus to target the large US law enforcement and health markets.</p>
<p>It will also allow Argus to deliver a combined biometric and identity card solution to clients.</p>
<p>“While Argus already has a base in Singapore, this deal gives us immediate exposure and access to a wider range of contracts and market opportunities such as drivers’ licences” said Bruce Lyman.</p>
<p>“Since our listing last year, we have been focused on building our sales capability and this deal will greatly accelerate that process, adding an instant revenue stream to our business and an expanded product offering for our clients.</p>
<p>“IWS is a highly respected company operating in the identity management market. The deal makes strategic sense on a number of levels and propels Argus to the next league in terms of our ability to aggressively compete for business in the Asian region and in the US.”</p>
<p>About the Transaction</p>
<p>The arrangement builds on the commercialisation agreement outlined in Argus Solutions’ prospectus and confirms the intent of both companies to leverage the strength of each other and to collaborate closely on market and product development.</p>
<p>In Singapore, Argus has acquired an established sales force familiar with the IWS products. IWS had revenues of just over US$1million in 2004. It has contracts to supply the Indonesian, Singapore and Malaysian government driver’s license components and consumables markets. Argus will have exclusive distribution rights for all IWS products in the law enforcement and health markets, for a minimum period of 3 years.</p>
<p>About Argus Solutions Limited (ASX: ASV)</p>
<p>Argus Solutions Ltd is an Australian listed company focused on identity management using its proprietary iris recognition software and its state of the art facial recognition technology. The company sells packaged solutions to its clients such as the military, government departments and blue chip companies seeking absolute assurance of identity in its access control functions, and to clients in specialist areas such as hospitals where controlling the dispensing of controlled substances via careful identity management is critical. For more information visit www.argus-solutions.com</p>
<p>About ImageWare Systems Inc</p>
<p>ImageWare Systems, Inc. (AMEX:IW) is a global leader in identity management solutions, providing biometric, secure credential, law enforcement and digital imaging technologies. Scalable for worldwide deployment, the Company's biometric product line includes a multi-biometric engine that is hardware and algorithm independent, enabling the enrolment and management of unlimited population sizes. ImageWare's identification products are used to manage and issue secure credentials including national IDs, passports, driver licenses, smart cards and access control credentials. ImageWare's digital booking products provide law enforcement with integrated mug shot, fingerprint Livescan and investigative capabilities. The Company also provides comprehensive digital workflow solutions for the professional photography industry. ImageWare is headquartered in San Diego, with offices in Canada, and Germany. For more information visit www.iwsinc.com</p>
<p>For further information, please contact:</p>
<p>Argus Solutions Limited -
Lindsay Yelland, Chairman +61 418 447 964;
Bruce Lyman, CEO +61 408 200 333;
Carey McMahon, COO +61 418 995 996</p>
<p>Wilkinson Media -
Sarah Llewellyn-Evans +61 403 687 266</p>

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