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GE's Explosive Deal

March 16

GE has agreed to acquire InVision Technologies, maker of explosives detectors and other security systems, for about $900 million.

GE is offering $50 in cash per InVision share, a 21% premium over last Friday's closing price. InVision has a current market cap of $844 million and claims 2003 revenues of $416.5 million, a decline from 2002 levels.

Newark, CA – based InVision says it pioneered the use of explosive detection systems used in airports by introducing computed tomography technology (CT) to check bags. The company’s boxy devices are today used both by airports and other locations that masses of people seek to enter like border and customs sites, power plants, chemical plants, military bases, and entertainment venues.

As we outlined in an earlier Dispatch, homeland security-related M&A activity has increased rapidly in the last 18 months, and prominently features explosives detection. The Barcelona train bombings may also incite rising international demand.

Other noteworthy recent homeland security deals include Juniper Networks $4 billion purchase of NetScreen Technologies. For detail on this transaction, see our prior news blurb on the subject.

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