CHIP » Topics » We obtain the implantable microchip used in our VeriMed, VeriGuard and VeriTrace systems from a single supplier, making us vulnerable to supply disruptions that could constrain our sales of such systems and/or increase our per-unit cost of production of t

This excerpt taken from the CHIP 10-K filed Apr 2, 2007.

We obtain the implantable microchip used in our VeriMed, VeriGuard and VeriTrace systems from a single supplier, making us vulnerable to supply disruptions that could constrain our sales of such systems and/or increase our per-unit cost of production of the microchip.

At present, Digital Angel is our sole supplier of our implantable microchip under the terms of an agreement we entered into with Digital Angel in December 2005. Digital Angel, in turn, sources the microchip from Raytheon Microelectronics España, or RME, the actual manufacturer, under a supply agreement between Digital Angel and RME. The term of that agreement expires on June 30, 2010, subject to earlier termination by either party if, among other things, the other party breaches the agreement and does not remedy the breach within 30 days of receiving notice. Digital Angel and RME each own certain of the automated equipment and tooling used in the manufacture of the microchip. Accordingly, it would be difficult for Digital Angel to arrange for a third party other than RME to manufacture the implantable microchip if for any reason RME was unable to manufacture the implantable microchip or RME did not manufacture sufficient implantable microchips for Digital Angel to satisfy our requirements. Even if Digital Angel were able to arrange to have the implantable microchip manufactured in another facility, we currently believe making such arrangements and commencement of production could take at least three to six months. A supply disruption of this length could cause customers to cancel orders, negatively affect future sales and damage our business reputation. In addition, the per-unit cost of production at another facility could be more than the price per unit we pay to Digital Angel.

If we do not meet the minimum purchase requirements under our agreement with Digital Angel, Digital Angel may sell implantable microchips for secure human identification applications to third parties. Our loss of this exclusive supply arrangement may result in our facing competition with respect to our implantable microchip-based systems, which could have a material adverse effect on the expected growth of our business.

Our agreement with Digital Angel, under which we source our implantable microchip, includes a provision that Digital Angel may not sell to parties other than us and our resellers the implantable microchips, as well as the reader equipment, for secure human identification applications, provided we meet specified minimum purchase requirements. If we do not meet the minimum purchase requirements, Digital Angel is free to sell to other parties implantable microchips for secure human identification applications.

The minimum purchase requirements for implantable microchips under the agreement are as follows:

 

Year

   Minimum
Purchase
Requirement

2007

   $ 875,000

2008

   $ 1,750,000

2009

   $ 2,500,000

2010

   $ 3,750,000

2011 and thereafter

   $ 3,750,000

For the years ended December 31, 2006 and 2005, the aggregate amount of our purchases under our agreement with Digital Angel were $0.4 million and $0.7 million, respectively.

If we lose the benefit of the exclusivity provision under our agreement with Digital Angel, we may face competition in the various target markets for our systems that use our implantable microchip, such as VeriMed, VeriGuard and VeriTrace, or face such competition at an earlier point in time than might otherwise have been the case, which could negatively affect our revenue, cash flows from operations, operating margins and profitability, as well as our growth prospects.

 

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