19 July 2005

Smiths Heimann Biometrics and Cross Match Technologies to join forces

Smiths Group plc announced today that it intends to combine Smiths Heimann Biometrics GmbH (SHB) with Florida-based biometrics business Cross Match Technologies Inc. (Cross Match). SHB was acquired in 2002 as a part of the larger Heimann Systems acquisition. The value of SHB's net assets being contributed is £7 million (€11 million), yielding Smiths an approximate 40% shareholding in the enlarged Cross Match. SHBs unaudited sales for the 12 months to June 2005 were £13 million (€19 million). The transaction is expected to be completed in early August 2005.

SHB and Cross Match supply complementary products and services that enable the reading, storage and recognition of biometric data: capabilities which are increasingly required by both law enforcement agencies and civil authorities. The increased geographical spread of the combined business will ensure that its complete product range is available in all the key markets around the world.

ENDS

About Smiths Heimann Biometrics
Smiths Heimann Biometrics GmbH was acquired by the Smiths Group as a small part of the larger Heimann Systems GmbH acquisition in 2002. SHB entered the biometrics business in 1996 and is based in Jena, Germany. It designs and manufactures optical scanners for biometric imaging, for example of finger and palm prints, and its products are widely used by law enforcement agencies. It has approximately 90 employees, the majority in Jena with some salespeople in Las Vegas, USA.

About Cross Match
Cross Match was established in 1996 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA. With 160 employees, its optical scanners for the digital capture of finger and palm prints are widely used for identification by the military and by civil authorities in the USA.

About the combined company
The combined company will be able to supply an enhanced range of products, for example:
SHB produced the first 10-fingerprint flat capture product for civilian background checks approved by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.
SHBs combined palm printer and 10-fingerprint system is one of the most successful systems in the industry and is meeting customer needs with approximately 4500 installations.
SHBs newly released Authenticator reads ID cards and other documents, captures biometric data and hence confirms identity.
The US Department of Defense and the FBI are using the Cross Match fingerprint and multimode biometric readers in the harshest areas of the world.
Cross Match recently released the first in a series of identity management solutions, the VisTrak, for visitor and inmate tracking.
Cross Matchs award winning ID 500 fingerprint capture system was designed to meet the needs of both civil authorities and the emerging commercial market. The system has been purchased by over 100 financial institutions for employee background checks.
Cross Match also provides fingerprint background check services through a national network of medical centres.