SPX Corporation today announced an agreement to sell its Edwards Systems Technology (EST) business to General Electric for $1.395 billion in cash. The sale is subject to antitrust clearance and other closing conditions and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2005.
John B. Blystone, Chairman, President and CEO of SPX, said, “We are pleased to have developed and expanded EST from a fire detection business to a global building life-safety systems provider that has generated solid profitability and cash flow for SPX over the past six years.
“This transaction will yield significant after-tax proceeds for SPX that we will use to further strengthen our balance sheet.”
EST engineers and develops fire detection and building life-safety systems as well as school and healthcare communications systems. EST’s products and services include networked and standalone fire alarm systems; emergency evacuation packages; advanced signalling solutions; the industry’s only integrated fire, access control and security platform; nurse-call products; and digital school and industrial audio intercoms.
SPX intends to use the net proceeds from the transaction to pay down debt and buy back equity. Together with proceeds from the previously announced divestiture of BOMAG and expected cash from operations, SPX expects available liquidity, prior to debt reduction and equity repurchases, to exceed $2.0 billion.