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Identec Group Adopts New Growth Strategy to Go With Its New Name

The owner of Identec Solutions and eight other RFID software, hardware and technology firms expects to gain synergies from its various divisions, and hopes to acquire additional companies around the globe.
By Claire Swedberg
Apr 20, 2011RFID Invest, a Liechtenstein holding company that owns Identec Solutions, as well as a handful of other RFID firms, has adopted a new business strategy and has changed its name to Identec Group. The restructured entity combines nine businesses to provide full RFID solutions within a variety of markets, including hospitality and oil and gas. The result, the company reports, makes Identec Group possibly the largest full-solution RFID firm worldwide, in terms of the number of customers, solutions, industries and markets served. The company sees itself poised to grow larger as it seeks to acquire additional RFID technology companies around the globe.

Over the past five years, RFID Invest has acquired Identec Solutions, a provider of active RFID tags and readers, with headquarters in the United States and a corporate office in Dornbirn, Austria; InSync Software, a U.S. developer of solution templates enabling users to build and deploy RFID- and sensor-driven track-and-trace and asset-management applications; Beverage Metrics, a U.S. company that markets an RFID-based solution that restaurants and caterers can utilize to track inventory, as well as their usage of liquor, wine and beer (see Beverage Metrics Serves Up Drink-Management Solution); Hothead Technologies, a U.S. developer of wireless sensors for monitoring the temperatures of athletes, workers and other personnel (see Georgia High School Football Teams Put RFID Into Play); ER Systems, a Swiss provider of RFID-based health-care and security applications; Gantner Electronic, a multinational access-control and cashless-payment solutions provider, headquartered in Austria; Trafficpass Holding, an Austrian provider of wireless payment solution for parking lots; French anti-theft retail technology firm Digiprice; and RFID-enabled air-cargo system provider Cargobox Holding, based in the Netherlands. Each member company will continue to market its products under its own brand name, though all of these firms will also identify themselves as members of Identec Group.

Martin Zumtobel, Identec Group's chairman
Altogether, Identec Group now serves more than 2,000 customers in 16 industries on six continents, with offices in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, India, Australia and the United States. The firm will have considerable presence in the United States, says Martin Zumtobel, Identec Group's chairman, since four of its nine companies are based in that country: InSync Software, Hothead Technologies, Beverage Metrics and Identec Solutions. One focus, says Dietmar J. Amann, Identec Group's CEO, is on connecting end users via the cloud (the Internet) with information stored on remote computers.

Zumtobel and Amann co-founded RFID Invest in June 2005. Since then, Zumtobel says their strategy has focused on gaining 100 percent ownership of all its companies. Currently, Identec Group owns 100 percent of InSync Software, Beverage Metrics and Gantner Electronic, and is in final negotiations to acquire 100 percent of Hothead Technologies. The company owns 71 percent of Identec Solutions, 70 percent of ER Systems, 28 percent of Trafficpass Holding, 25 percent of Cargobox Holding and 12 percent of Digiprice. "I want to continue our 100 percent ownership strategy and make the company the leading global solutions provider." He expects the firm will go public, he adds, once it has "reached the stage where it makes sense to go to the capital markets to fund our continued growth."

Zumtobel, an Austrian entrepreneur, has headed investment firm F.M. Zumtobel, and in 1975 launched the Familia supermarket chain, which he has since sold. Amann, also from Austria, was a private equity manager who, in the late 1990s, helped to establish media and Internet investment group Beisheim Holding Schweiz, where he headed its Strategic and International Business Development Division.

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