Honeywell eyes another camera company buy, Silent Witness

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Thursday, October 16, 2003

October 16, 2003

SYOSSET, N.Y. - The surveillance market seems to be key for Honeywell International, which announced this week that it plans to buy Canadian camera manufacturer Silent Witness for approximately $87 million Canadian.

If approved by shareholders, the deal would mark Honeywell’s third acquisition in the surveillance market and its largest acquisition in the security market for some time. The company bought Ultrak CCTV for $36 million late last year, while it acquired TVS, a company that offers a software solution for monitoring retail and ATM transactions, in April of this year for an undisclosed price.

For Honeywell, the deal is important because it will increase the company’s depth of product offerings in the video surveillance market, said David Gottlieb, vice president, global marketing communications for Honeywell Security Group.

“Video is clearly a key component of security for commercial applications and it’s important that we have strong offerings in that area,” said Gottlieb.

Silent Witness, a public company, is known in the market as being an innovative company. Today its well known for its surveillance system specifically made for mobile applications, such as buses.

Rob Bakshi, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Silent Witness, said the company has been approached in the past about a sale, but a transaction did not make sense until now.

“There comes a point where size does matter,” said Bakshi. “I think Silent Witness was at a pivotal point where it either had to get big by buying other companies or either find another company to merge with.”

Bakshi said Silent Witness has been in talks with Honeywell for months. About 90 percent of the company’s shareholders need to tender their shares for the deal to go through.

For more on this story, see the November issue of Security Systems News.