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Amadeus expands in biometrics with acquisition of Vision-Box

Amadeus has announced it is acquiring Vision-Box, a leading provider of biometric solutions for airports, airlines, and border control customers. 

The acquisition of Vision-Box will bring new capabilities around biometrics hardware and software, adding border control solutions to the Amadeus portfolio. Through this combined offering with Vision-Box, Amadeus will now be able to deliver a full end-to-end seamless passenger experience from booking to arrival at the airport, through border control and boarding. 

This acquisition will contribute to Amadeus’ ambition to connect the travel industry through a seamless ecosystem approach. With this in mind, this deal will deliver outstanding biometrics interoperability between airports, airlines and border control authorities. Additionally, it will complement and improve Amadeus’ existing airline and airport value proposition, which focuses on providing a frictionless experience for all passengers, optimizing operations, and driving effective disruption management. 

The use of biometrics in border control is expected to grow significantly in the coming years – with the Biometrics Research Group estimating the global biometrics sector will grow to US$86.1B by 2028 from its projected 2023 value of US$47.8B. This growth is being pushed by the travel industry’s increased focus on the digitalization of the passenger journey to improve the experience of travel, meet operational pressures, and deliver against regulatory demands.

Vision-Box, which is a fast-growing global business with expected revenues of €70 million, and an estimated normalized EBITDA of close to €20 million in 2023, is partially owned by Keensight Capital, a private equity fund dedicated to pan-European Growth Buyout investments1. Amadeus will be fully acquiring privately-owned Vision-Box for an agreed price (EV) of approximately €320 million. As part of this acquisition, approximately 470 Vision-Box employees will transfer to Amadeus. The deal is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in H1 2024.

Decius Valmorbida, President, Travel, Amadeus, comments: “Biometrics is a strategic and fast-growing industry, and Vision-Box’s capabilities will allow us to accelerate our growth in this area. With a portfolio which is deeply complementary to our existing offering for both airports and airlines, our combined best-in-class solutions will now deliver a seamless passenger journey from booking to boarding. This acceleration of our ecosystem approach will bring immediate and tangible benefits to our customers and travelers: it’s how travel works better.”

Miguel Leitmann, Founder & CEO of Vision-Box, adds: “I’m extremely excited about the growth opportunities for Vision-Box as we join Amadeus, a leading travel technology player with a global footprint. Together we can deliver the next big step in the travel experience: to unite all separate players and systems in a single, digitally- integrated, and orchestrated ecosystem. This compelling value proposition will drive user experience, on-time-performance, infrastructure usage, and other key indicators to new levels of efficiency.”

Biometrics technology delivers value for airports, airlines, and their passengers. IATA’s Global Passenger Survey 2023 found that 75% of passengers are keen on using biometric data to expedite processes at the airport instead of showing passports and boarding passes. Frictionless touchpoints allow passengers to arrive at the boarding gate on time, reducing stress levels and freeing up time to spend at lounge or retail areas. A faster and smoother boarding experience powered by biometrics also enables airlines to improve their on-time performance targets.  Another upside of this technology is that fewer airline staff are required to assist at biometric touchpoints, freeing agents to look after more complex customer enquiries and deliver the best possible customer service at the airport.