IPIX takes shot with security

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

SAN RAMON, Calif. - In a move to consolidate operations and focus business activities on the security market, publicly held IPIX shed its online marketing division and disclosed plans to relocate its corporate offices to Vienna, Va., from here.

The company’s announcement came on the eve of the 2005 Presidential Inauguration, for which it provided 360-degree surveillance software and hardware, as well as related services to aid in security of the event.

“This will position the company to solely focus on surveillance technology,” said Clara Conti, president and chief executive officer at the company. “There is a great demand from homeland security, military and federal agencies for the products IPIX offers.”

IPIX’s online marketing division, AdMission, will be purchased through an employee buyout, funded in part by financing from Seattle-based private equity firm Swiftsure Capital. Moving forward, the privately held company will be known as AdMission Inc., based in San Ramon.

“IPIX has had a strong focus on both business sectors,” said Sarah Pate, former executive vice president and general manager of the unit and now president and chief executive officer at AdMission, Inc. “By splitting both companies, both companies can achieve their goals.”

For the time being, it does not appear IPIX is shopping around its InfoMedia Group, the third division within the company. As the company reorganizes into a sole focus of surveillance, the still photography products that the division offers to government and commercial organizations seems to be intact.

The deal to shed its marketing division, which is expected to close by the end of the month, includes IPIX retaining a minority stake in the business and attaining a seat on the newly formed AdMission, Inc. board of directors.

The inauguration deployment marked the second time the company’s technology was used by the U.S. Secret Service for a National Security Special Event, which implies the Secret Service designs, implements and oversees operational security. Its flagship product, CommandView360, was used to monitor the inauguration route and related festivities.

IPIX’s former headquarters will be closed, and the company’s Oak Ridge, Tenn., engineering and manufacturing facility will not be affected.