GE, InVision work to settle pending lawsuit about deal

Thursday, July 1, 2004

NEWARK, Calif. - General Electric’s plans to buy explosive detection company InVision Technologies, makers of baggage screening devices used in airports across the country, moved a step closer to completion in mid-June when the two companies signed an agreement to settle a pair of lawsuits filed about the acquisition.

According to a proxy filed by InVision with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the lawsuits allege that the board of directors of InVision failed to obtain the highest price possible for the company. GE has offered to buy InVision for $50 per share, or $900 million for the company.

In a move to settle the two pending lawsuits, GE and Invision consolidated them into one case if approved by the court, the case will be dismissed. GE and InVision have agreed to pay up to $450,000 in attorney fees for the plaintiffs and to disclose additional details about the merger.

GE’s plans to purchase InVision came at a pivotal point for the explosive detection company. That announcement coincided with the Transportation Security Administration agreeing to buy $105 million worth of product from InVision for its CTX 9000 DSi explosive detection system. The product would be integrated into baggage handling systems in certain airports in the United States.

The lawsuits claim that InVision officials could have negotiated a higher price for the company, in light of the contract with the TSA.

Stan Neve, spokesman for InVision said a settlement would enable the company to move forward with its merger with GE. “Following the review of the complaint, it was always our view that the allegations were without merit,” said Neve, who declined to comment further.

If the lawsuit is dismissed, GE and InVision could close on the deal by the middle of July.