Checkpoint Gobbles Up OATSystems

“Shrink management” may sound like an HMO for psychologists, but it’s actually the retail industry’s euphemism for measures that reduce product loss due to shoplifting, employee theft, and expired perishables. One of the leading shrink management companies makes its home in the Boston area—RFID software maker OATSystems of Waltham, MA—and lately it’s been expanding fast enough to catch the attention of a suitor. OATSystems announced today that it’s being acquired by Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP), a Thorofare, NJ-based maker of retail security systems.

The terms of the acquisition aren’t being disclosed, but it’s an all-cash deal that should nicely reward Oatsystems’ venture backers, including Waltham-based Matrix Partners and Greylock Partners, who helped to raise $25 million since the company’s founding in 2001. OATSystems president and CEO Michael George will remain in charge of the organization, which will operate as a division of Checkpoint.

OATSystems makes software that’s used with RFID readers in factories, warehouses, and stores to track parts, keep shelves stocked, make sure that perishables don’t go above a certain temperature, and prove that pallets of inventory have been delivered as scheduled. Checkpoint, one of the world’s largest makers of RFID-based anti-shoplifting and product-tracking systems, said OATSystems’ technology will help round out its own platform for helping manufacturers and retailers make the transition to the new Electronic Product Code standard—a replacement for the old Universal Product Code barcode system that’s intended to work with RFID technology and convey more information about individual items.

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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