Argus Australia Expands Into Asia
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. 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. 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. 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. It will also allow Argus to deliver a combined biometric and identity card solution to clients. “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. “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. “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.” About the Transaction 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. 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. 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.