Advent bids for Safran’s Morpho: Le Figaro

Private equity fund Advent has made a bid for French aerospace and defense group Safran‘s (SAF.PA) biometric identification unit Morpho with the aim to merge it with Advent-owned French security badge maker Oberthur Technologies, Advent told French newspaper Le Figaro.

Cedric Chateau, the head of Advent France, told Le Figaro in an interview that the merger of the two firms could create a France-based world leader in secure authentification.

Oberthur Technologies in November delayed plans for a stock market listing. The firm develops security software embedded in cards and other devices for making payments and giving access to transport networks or buildings.

In April, Safran agreed to sell its U.S.-based Morpho Detection business and related activities to UK engineering firm Smiths Group (SMIN.L) for an enterprise value of $710 million.

A Safran spokeswoman said biometric identification unit Morpho was a separate legal entity from Morpho Detection. She declined to comment on Advent’s offer.