Safran is buying L-1 Identity Solutions' biometric, identity and recruitment operations at a price of some 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion)..
The move by Safran would make the French aerospace and defense group the world's top company in biometric identification, "ahead of NEC of Japan and Cogent of the United States," said company Head Jean-Paul Herteman, France's daily newspaper Le Figaro reported earlier this week.
Herteman said the activities were profitable, growing and had an order book equal to three years of current sales, put at some $500 million.
Identity security is a fast-growing market that analysts expect to expand by 15% a year through to 2015.
Meanwhile, BAE Systems, the British maker of military equipment, said Monday it had agreed to buy L-1's Intelligence Services Group for $296 million.
BAE said in a statement that its part-acquisition of L-1 Solutions reflects the British group's strategy "to enhance and grow its business in the area of customer support and services, which includes cyber and security."
Last week, an aide to French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde told AFP that Safran was preparing an offer for SNPE Energy Materials.