Schlumberger Electronic Transactions, a leading French smart card company, said Wednesday it signed a letter of intent to acquire Soliac, a unit of the French processing company Sligos that makes magnetic stripe and smart cards.

The Schlumberger company's agreement to buy Solaic points to further consolidation in the smart card industry, which has seen a number of joint ventures and acquisitions in the past year.

Solaic has manufacturing facilities in France and Spain. Its marketing operations are primarily in those countries, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

The proposed transaction, which is subject to the signing of definitive agreements, would include a partnership to develop smart-card-based systems.

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