GE’s Buy of InVision ON the Books

Saturday, January 1, 2005

NEWARK, Calif. - InVision Technologies announced a settlement with the U.S. government last month, clearing the way for its $900 million acquisition by GE Infrastructure.

GE Infrastructure, a division of General Electric, approached the company in March, in an effort to increase its product and service offerings in the homeland protection market. InVision is a supplier of baggage screening products for the U.S. civil aviation security industry.

As a result of the acquisition, GE has increased its products under the homeland protection division. Having previously offered detection technologies to identify trace amount of substances, such as drug and bomb materials, the company is able to go to market with the addition of image scanning systems.

“It’s an enhancement of what we have already,” said Jay Pinkert, director of communication for GE Infrastructure. “It adds to the types of solutions we can offer and addressable markets.” These segments of the market include not just the Transportation Security Agency, for example, but commercial deployments in locations such as arenas and high-rise office buildings.

With the deal closed, InVision’s headquarters will remain here. Louis Parker, president and chief executive officer of GE Infrastructure’s homeland protection unit, will head the division.

“InVision believes the contribution of the company will lead to advances in aviation security, airport checkpoints and border areas,” said Stan Neve, a spokesperson for the company.

In July, GE’s hopes to close the deal within the third quarter hit a wall, when it discovered InVision distributors may have engaged in improper payments in foreign sales.

Under the terms of the settlement, InVision agreed to a non-prosecution agreement with the Criminal Division, Fraud Section, of the U. S. Department of Justice. Under the terms of the agreement, InVision will not be prosecuted under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act but will make a $800,000 payment to the U. S. Treasury.

InVision also said it had proposed an agreement with the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission to end its investigation of the company on the same matter. The amount of the possible fine was not disclosed.

The U.S. government was not the only hurdle the two companies had to overcome to finish the deal. Last summer, InVision shareholders protested the value of the acquisition, noting a contract the company signed with the Transportation Security Administration could have increased the purchase price.