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3M to acquire Cogent for about $943 million

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 6:45am
The Associated Press

3M Co., which makes products ranging from Post-Its to respirators, computer arms, and films for LCD TV screens, said Monday it has agreed to acquire Cogent Inc. in a deal worth about $943 million.

Cogent, based in Pasadena, Calif., develops automated systems that read finger and palm prints. The company's board of directors already has agreed to the deal and is recommending that shareholders accept it.

3M will pay $10.50 per share for Cogent in a tender offer that's expected to last for 10 days. That is a 17.8 percent premium over Cogent's closing price on Friday.

Cogent shares rose $1.73, or 19.5 percent, to $10.65 — slightly above the offered price — in morning trading Monday.

3M already operates a division for identification and authentication systems. Ming Hsieh, Cogent's founder and CEO, said the acquisition would help 3M compete in border control and law enforcement markets.

"Together, we'll deliver a broader range of identification and authentication solutions to the security industry and to our customers," Hsieh said in a statement.

The acquisition is expected to close in the final three months of the year. Once completed, the deal should result in a charge of 9 to 10 cents per share during the next 12 months. However, Cogent also is expected to boost company earnings by 1 to 2 cents per share over the same period, excluding accounting adjustments and integration expenses, 3M said.

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