GEC has taken a further step into the telecommunications business with the $4.2bn (£2.6bn) acquisition of Pittsburgh, US-based internet switching equipment manufacturer Fore Systems.
Fore Systems employs 2,000 people – 1,450 in the US. The deal leaves it under the control of its existing chief executive officer, Tom Gill, who will report to GEC chief executive George Simpson. Fore Systems will continue to use its own name.
GEC’s conversion to a communications, medical and commercial technology company started in January, when it sold its defence electronics business to British Aerospace.
GEC predicts that internet telecommunication traffic will exceed voice traffic this year. It said the acquisition also gives it a greater presence in the US telecommunications market – the world’s largest.