Ionics bought for $1.1 billion

GE Infrastructure announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire Ionics, a global provider of water purification and wastewater treatment services, for approximately $1.1 billion.

GE Infrastructure and Ionics announced today that they have signed an agreement for GE’s acquisition of Ionics in an all cash merger for $44 per share, valuing the transaction at approximately $1.1 billion plus the assumption of existing debt.

Watertown, Massachusetts-based Ionics is a global provider of desalination, water reuse and recycling, and industrial ultrapure water services. Ionics will join GE Infrastructure’s Water & Process Technologies business unit upon completion of the transaction.

“Water is the lifeblood of industries and communities around the world, and scarcity, increasing demand and rising costs are driving the need to conserve, reuse and identify new supplies of this essential resource,” said Bill Woodburn, President and CEO of GE Infrastructure.

“We see significant revenue and cost synergies that will enable us to focus our resources on developing technologies that increase access to safe drinking water and provide industrial customers with greater access to ultrapure water sources,” added Woodburn.

George Oliver, GE Infrastructure’s President of Water & Process Technologies commented, “GE currently has more than 2,000 scientists and engineers focused on improving water quality for industrial and commercial use, and the addition of Ionics expands our ability to provide solutions to our customers’ most pressing water needs.

“Because Ionics utilises multiple technologies for its emergency mobile fleet, we will be able to offer expanded services for our industrial customers who need immediate assistance treating their water supply,” Oliver continued.

The merger is subject to the approval of the holders of at least two-thirds of Ionics outstanding common shares, usual government approvals and other customary conditions. It is expected to close in the first half of 2005. Certain Ionics stockholders, representing approximately 20% of the outstanding Ionics common stock, have agreed to vote their shares in favour of the transaction.