Strengthens ASK's presence in the American e-ID market
Continues rollout of the strategic plan announced at its IPO
ASK (Euronext Paris - FR0011980077 - ASK), specialist in secure contactless solutions for the Identity and Transport markets, announces the signing of an agreement with its partner WS Packaging Group to acquire 48.89% of their joint venture ASK IntTag. This raises ASK's stake in its U.S.-based unit to 99%, with WS Packaging keeping 1%.
This agreement is a major step in the strategic plan implemented by ASK since its Initial Public Offering on Euronext in 2014, one pillar of which is to grow the group's presence in the United States. By this takeover, ASK consolidates its industrial plant and now benefits from complete control of its production capacity in the fast-growing American market.
Since 2013, ASK is Infineon's technological partner for the production of e-covers used by the Government Printing Organization (GOP) in the manufacture of U.S. electronic passports and in supplying electronic driver's licences in several U.S. states (Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, Vermont). Through its Contactless Solutions division, ASK also supplies contactless transport cards to public transport operators in many U.S. cities including Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego, and others.
ASK is thus one of the rare European technology companies to have a presence simultaneously at federal and state level, as well as in major U.S. cities. This unique position gives its real legitimacy on the other side of the Atlantic to continue rolling out its technology in a market with enormous growth potential.
Under the terms of the agreement, which will take effect in the next few weeks, ASK acquires 48.99% of ASK IntTag for US$4 million in cash (¤3.5m). Until now recognized in ASK's financial statements as an equity associate, ASK IntTag will be fully consolidated from 1 March 2015. In 2014, ASK IntTag posted revenues of US$8.6 million (¤6.1m).
Julien Zuccarelli, ASK's Chief Executive Officer, says:
"ASK's development plan is working and this agreement marks a major new advance. The North American digital identity market is a significant growth opportunity for the group.
Our successful collaboration with WS Packaging has allowed us to become a major recognized player in the United States. We will now be able to fully drive our strategy in this key market, and intensify our investments to accelerate our development."
ASK provides secure contactless solutions for sensitive applications linked to individuals. ASK has developed patented technology based on a unique silver printing process. It creates genuine solutions to the security and reliability challenges of its markets. ASK offers a full range of contactless solutions (cards and inlays - electronic covers and integrated antennas - for passports, tickets, terminals, software) and associated personalisation services.
ASK's innovative technology and global organization, with manufacturing plants in Europe -France-, Asia -China- and the United States, make it the reference player in secure contactless solutions for identity (e.ID) and transport markets. In e.ID, ASK has worked with the most demanding customers since 2006, providing inlays for US, UK, French, Philippine and other passports. In the transport market, ASK has strengthened its leadership position since 2001, supplying over 100 cities in 27 countries, including Atlanta, Chicago, London, Mexico City, Miami, Paris, Singapore, Sydney and Tel Aviv.
Name: ASK - ISIN Code: FR0011980077 - Ticker symbol: ASK - Number of issued shares: 7,545,221
For more information, see ASK-Contactless.com
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