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Keen interest in Biometrics

AN initial public offering by a Subiaco-based company to commercialise and develop a new breed of high-security technology has closed oversubscribed.

The company, Biometrics Limited, announced that it would refund approximately $500,000 after receiving applications totalling $4.1 million for the $3.64 million worth of Biometrics shares and options on offer.

Biometrics IPO offered 12.5 million ordinary shares at $0.20 cents a share, and a further 26.25 million options at $0.005 cents each, with the ability to accept oversubscriptions of a further 5,000,000 shares and 2.5 million options.

Total funds of $3.64 million were raised.

In a first for the Australian biometrics industry, the company is expected to list on the Australian Stock Exchange during the week commencing Monday November 11 2003.

Biometrics will have a market capitalisation at listing of $7.1 million based on the 20-cent issue price of shares offered pursuant to the company’s prospectus.

Funds raised are to be used for the commercialisation of the security technology the company has developed, called Biometrics Access Control Solution, or BACS.

Biometrics director Brad Jorgensen said BACS was a major new development in biometric security that involved the scanning and recording of the combination of height, face and fingerprint details of a person attempting to enter a secure area.

These details are combined into a complex algorithm, which is then compared with details stored in a database.

The system is used in conjunction with a swipe card.

Mr Jorgensen said BACS had been developed to service high-level security environments such as airports, government buildings, prisons and passport or border control.

In addition to government, Mr Jorgensen said markets for the technology included private sector corporations.

He said there were emerging opportunities for BACS technology in energy, agriculture, high technology, chemical, biotechnology and commercial property arenas where there may be increasing security concerns.

“The technology lends itself to a whole array of vertical markets,” Mr Jorgensen said.

“It will be exciting times for Biometrics Limited and we will be expecting to make some announcements in due course.”

The point of difference between BACS and other biometric security technology, he said, was that BACS was fused biometrics – a combination of face and finger identification – as opposed to dual biometrics, which used either face or finger identification.

In a release announcing the IPO, Biometric chairman Ray Badnall said terrorism, war and concerns about personal and commercial safety had created a burgeoning demand for tougher security concerns.

“As a result, the world biometrics markets is forecast to balloon more than $3 billion by 2006 from an estimated worth this year of between $785 million and $933 million, compared to just $141 million two years ago,” he told WA Business News.

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