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Acquisition expands opportunities for both companies in secure card issuance and electronic access control.

ASSA ABLOY's HID Global Corporation announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Fargo Electronics, Inc. for an all cash consideration.  The transaction is expected to close at the end of the third quarter, subject to Fargo stockholder and regulatory approvals.

The acquisition is a result of a long-standing relationship between the two security solutions companies and their decision to jointly pursue opportunities in the secure identification field.  "We are now positioned as a leader in the rapidly-growing market for secure issuance of corporate and national ID credentials.  The combined organizations create the foundation to guarantee that materials are secure, that the process of issuing a credential is not subject to fraud, and that the resulting product is highly tamper-proof," stated Denis Hébert, President and CEO of HID.  Controlled access to materials, intelligent hardware that notifies authorities of misuse, and other enhanced process security features will set a new standard for performance in the industry.

Fargo Electronics, Inc. is a leading provider in the development of secure technologies for identity card issuance systems, including secure card printer/encoders, materials and software.  Fargo was recognized by FORTUNE Small Business Magazine as one of America's Fastest-Growing Companies in 2004.  HID is part of the Global Technologies Division of ASSA ABLOY Group, the world's leading locking solutions company, based in Stockholm, Sweden.

HID is a leading supplier of contactless access control cards and readers, and other security products for corporations and governments globally.  The company's most recent innovations include the multiCLASSTM access control reader that reads both proximity and contactless smart cards, VertXTM central station managed access controllers, AxioTM RFID electromechanical lock cylinders, and AssurID® Exchange credential management software.  HID products are sold through a global network of OEM, distribution, and installer channels, supported by sales, service, and distribution centres in North America, Latin America, Europe, Hong Kong, China, and India. 

"We value the opportunity to partner with the organization that has created a position of innovation and leadership in card issuance and personalization," said Joe Grillo, President and CEO of ASSA ABLOY's Global Technologies Division.  "This acquisition complements our existing channel and product offerings, while broadening our capabilities in the rapidly growing secure card issuance category," added Denis Hébert.

"We're looking forward to becoming part of HID," said Gary Holland, President and CEO and Chairman of the Board, Fargo Electronics, Inc.  "This is positive step for both ASSA ABLOY and for Fargo stockholders, and it's exciting for Fargo's customers and employees as well.  HID is well known in the electronic access control industry and is recognized as the trusted brand.  With HID's extensive resources and commitment in the electronic access control business, it will enable us to take our products and technologies to the next level."  

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