3M has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Rochford Thompson Equipment, a manufacturer of optical character recognition passport readers used by airlines and immigration authorities, headquartered in Newbury. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
As a provider of security document scanning solutions, Rochford Thompson’s core skills are in the data capture of identity document information from complex digital images and RFID chips. The majority of Rochford Thompson readers are used by airlines for data capture at check-in desks and self-service kiosks and by immigration authorities for border control. Other users include cruise lines, ferry companies, transport police, banks and other organisations that need to read passports, visas, ID cards or airline tickets.
“The addition of Rochford Thompson enhances our line of products for secure document capture and authentication and will allow us to expand into transportation markets such as international airlines,” said Mike Delkoski, division vice president, 3M Security Systems Division.
“Rochford Thompson’s product line includes swipe readers and mobile readers that are ideal for use in the airline industry for reading tickets, passports and other IDs,” added Phil Wild, managing director, Security Systems, 3M United Kingdom and Ireland.
Complementary acquisitions such as this support both 3M’s core business and growth strategy to expand into adjacent markets. Rochford Thompson employs approximately 30 people. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter, subject to customary closing conditions.