Apple is buying security company AuthenTec in a deal valued at about $356 million.

The iPhone giant will pay $8 per share for the Melbourne, Fla.-based provider of security solutions for computers and smartphones, according to documents filed with the SEC yesterday. 

The transaction has already been approved by AuthenTec's board of directors. The company will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple after the acquisition closes.

The purchase of AuthenTec will give Apple access to the company's security technology, which includes fingerprint sensors, encryption and identity management software. Its fingerprint sensors have been embedded in more than 15 million smartphones. AuthenTec's customers include Apple competitors Motorola, Nokia and Samsung.

Apple has not released a statement on the matter, and AuthenTec's disclosure of the transaction to federal trade regulators did not specify what its new parent company has planned for its assets.

AuthenTec has made a number of announcements in the mobile space over the past couple months. It unveiled a fingerprint sensor designed to secure mobile payments, joined the ARM Connected Community and announced deals with NTT Docomo, Orange in Poland, Samsung and Alcatel-Lucent.

AuthenTec went public five years ago and posted revenue of $69.8 million last year. It says it owns many foundational patents on fingerprint biometric technology, and currently holds a portfolio of nearly 200 U.S. patents covering fingerprint sensors and sensor packaging, software and end use.