ActivCard buys Protocom

Newly-acquired company sells password management and authentication products

Authentication software vendor ActivCard has completed its acquisition of Australian identity management company Protocom Development Systems, the companies announced Monday.

Protocom, a 95-employee company based in Canberra, Australia, sells a variety of password management and authentication software products, including the SecureConsole access control software that is used with Novell Inc.'s NetWare servers.

The acquisition, which was announced on July 27, was completed Friday, the companies said. ActivCard will make a cash payment of $21 million coupled with between 1.65 million and 3.75 million shares, depending on whether the Australian company meets certain revenue milestones. At Monday's closing price of $4.96 per share, these additional payments would have a value between $8.2 million and $18.6 million.

As a result of the acquisition, the Fremont, California, company expects to lay off approximately 13 percent of its worldwide staff. The combined company is expected to have 315 employees, an ActivCard spokesman said.

ActivCard's identity management software is used in the U.S. Department of Defense's Common Access Card Program, and the company counts Airbus SAS, British Telecommunications PLC and Hewlett-Packard Co. among its clients.

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