Apple Acquires Mobile Security Firm AuthenTec For $356 Million

BY Rounak Jain

Published 27 Jul 2012

authentec-logoBGR reports that Apple has acquired mobile security firm AuthenTec for approximately $356 million.

Apple is paying $8 per share for the acquisition of publicly listed AuthenTec, whose shares were last trading at $5.07. That’s a premium of more than 50 percent.

The company’s description, as written on its Fact sheet page is:

AuthenTec is a leading provider of mobile and network security. The Company’s diverse product and technology offering helps protect individuals and organizations through secure networking, content and data protection, access control and strong fingerprint security on PCs and mobile devices. AuthenTec encryption technology, fingerprint sensors and identity management software are deployed by the leading mobile device, networking and computing companies, content and service providers, and governments worldwide.

The Next Web points to an 8-K filed by AuthenTec with the SEC, which gives us additional information about the acquisition.

The acquisition gives Apple non-exclusive rights to AuthenTec’s Intellectual Property, which includes hardware and software technology, and patents owned by the company.

What’s interesting is that $7.5 million out of the $356 million acquisition cost is is being paid towards non-recurring product development, which will use AuthenTec’s engineering services. While the SEC filing contains no further information about this, MacRumors suspects that this could be related to the company’s fingerprinting tech, which could be put to use in Apple’s ambitious, yet incomplete, mobile wallet.

A brief description of AuthenTec’s hardware sensors:

AuthenTec smart sensors add multiple touch-powered features to millions of PCs, peripherals, phones and other products.  The Company’s broad portfolio of swipe sensors use a patented sub-surface technology to read the live layer of skin beneath the skin’s surface where the fingerprint is first formed.  This allows AuthenTec sensors to read through worn, damaged, calloused or oily skin to ensure that they provide very accurate fingerprint imaging for everyone, every time.

More security features would certainly help Apple push its hardware and software services to the enterprise, an area currently dominated by Microsoft and its hardware partners.

Interestingly, just last week AuthenTec announced a partnership with Samsung, licensing its VPN Security tech for use in Android phones and tablets.