Amid fierce smartphone competition between Samsung and Apple that has spilled into a multinational patent battle, it looks like Apple may have opened yet another front on the M&A side: it is buying mobile security company AuthenTec — which had only just signed a deal with Samsung for Android devices — for $365 million.
AuthenTec, among other things, makes fingerprint sensor chips that are used for security and identification purposes; these are embedded in computing devices. The news was first reported by Reuters; the full announcement was filed with the SEC.
Just earlier this month AuthenTec had inked a deal with Samsung to cover security and device management services to cater to the “BYOD” trend — that is, workers taking their own handsets into their enterprise environment. The AuthenTec service would let IT managers quickly secure and authenticate those devices.
Reuters reported the deal as $356 million — $8 per share of the company. But that’s actually a pretty cheap price, considering that before the company went public it had raised some $600 million (yes, million) in funding.