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French Safran to take majority shareholding in GE homeland protection arm

GE Security : 27 April, 2009  (Company News)
GE Security has signed an agreement for Safran to take a majority stake in the company's Homeland Protection business
GE has signed a definitive agreement with Safran for Safran to acquire 81% of GE Security's Homeland Protection business for $580M. Upon close, GE will own 19% and Safran will have majority interest with 81%. The transaction has been approved by the Boards of both companies, and will be subject to customary regulatory approvals.

The Homeland Protection business will become part of Safran's Defence Security division of Sagem Securite, led by Jean-Paul Jainsky, Chairman and CEO, Sagem Securite. Dennis Cooke, will continue as President & CEO, for the Homeland Protection business and headquarters will remain in Newark, CA.

"This is a great move for our Homeland Protection business," said Dennis Cooke, President & CEO, GE Security Homeland Protection. "Our business has a strong leadership team, dedicated and talented employees, innovative technology, a large installed base and a strong brand. This move aligns Homeland Protection with a business that is committed to globalization and further investment in new detection technologies and new products for the Homeland Security space."

The combined company will focus on identification solutions and detection offerings globally and will benefit from continued access to technology advancements from GE's Global Research Centre and GE Healthcare. The combination of the complementary technology of both businesses will provide customers with the benefit of new technology solutions to keep ahead of the changing threats.

Safran and GE are expanding their already strong relationship as the companies have been working together for more than 35 years to deliver Aviation technology solutions. The new entity will feature Safran's industry-leading ID management, plus Homeland Protection's world-class aviation safety, checked baggage screening, military & critical infrastructure protection together with new growth platforms in Chem/Bio, X-ray and Radiation/Nuclear detection.

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 Homeland Protection will significantly bolster our Group's third core business. This makes Safran a pivotal player in the security market, a business that will generate 20% of the Group's total revenues in the medium term, with double-digit profit perspectives and reducing exposure to aerospace cycles. Furthermore, this transaction is the latest step in our long-standing relationship of mutual trust and partnership with GE that reaches back some 35 years."

Jean-Paul Jainsky, Chairman and CEO of Sagem Sécurité, added "There is growing demand from both governments and private industry for cutting-edge security solutions, based on long-term projects anchored in advanced, very-high-reliability technologies. From this standpoint, the Safran Group is in a perfect position to meet today's most demanding public security requirements."

Combining Homeland Protection's capabilities with Safran's portfolio will enable Safran to become a leading global player in airport security solutions. Already a world leader in biometric identification solution, Safran will now provide a differentiated, integrated offering to customers. From checked baggage screening to passenger identity and credentialing to check in, Safran will be able to provide seamless, fully integrated solutions to customers in homeland security. This will enable customers to proactively address threats delivered by terrorists and drug traffickers prior to a potential occurrence.

"This newly combined company is an excellent fit for our Homeland Protection team," stated Dean Seavers, President & CEO, GE Security. "GE Security will continue to focus on our core security product portfolio with a strong commitment to delivering security innovations that bring value, quality and high performance to our customers and end users."

Safran, headquartered in Paris, France, will maintain GE Security's Homeland Protection operations in the US, Asia and Europe, Middle East and Africa.
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