US engineering company General Electric (GE) has announced that it is to sell 81 per cent of its Homeland Protection business to French aerospace and defence outfit Safran for $580m (£400m), retaining just 19 per cent for itself.
The transaction has been approved by the boards of both companies and will be subject to customary regulatory approvals.
Once the deal has been finalised, the Homeland Protection business will become part of the Defense Security division of Sagem Sécurité, a wholly owned subsidiary of Safran, and will be led by Jean-Paul Jainsky, the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO).
Dennis Cooke will continue as president and CEO for the Homeland Protection business and its headquarters will remain in Newark, California.
Jean-Paul Herteman, CEO of Safran, said: ‘Following our 2008 acquisitions of SDU-Identification [a Dutch manufacturer of secure passports and ID documents] and Motorola’s biometrics business [Printrak brand], adding GE’s Homeland Protection will significantly bolster our group’s business.’
Safran, which is based in Paris, France, will maintain GE Security’s Homeland Protection operations in the US, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Homeland Protection provides equipment and services to protect airports, ports, borders and critical infrastructures for government, military and commercial customers. It produces tomography-based technology for the detection of hazardous or illicit substances in checked baggage, with the largest worldwide installed base of approximately 1,600 machines.
The business also provides services for its installed base, which generate approximately 60 per cent of its total revenues.
GE Homeland Protection has approximately 780 employees, including 150 in research and development, located in the US, Europe and Asia. It posted sales of about $260m in 2008.