GE Adding Edwards Systems Technology to Its Security Business

WILTON, Conn.

General Electric’s (GE) Infrastructure unit has purchased
fire detection systems manufacturer Edwards Systems
Technology (EST) for $1.4 billion. GE says the purchase
will position its security business as a leader in the fire
detection and life safety market. The acquisition,
announced Nov. 15, is subject to regulatory approval and is
expected to close in early 2005.

 
GE says it plans to combine EST’s technology and channel
strength with GE’s other security offerings to provide an
integrated systems solution. Security industry market
expert Jack Mallon told Security Sales & Integration
that the purchase could help GE surge ahead of Honeywell as
the top manufacturer of electronic security and fire
products.

“It’s a further manifestation of GE’s commitment to the
security spaces. This enables GE to break out and to be the
dominant player,” says Mallon, publisher of Mallon’s
Security Report
. “GE, up until this acquisition, was on
a compatible level with Honeywell.”

Edwards’ previous owner, SPX Corp., recently HREF=t_ci_newsView.cfm?nid=1948>announced it had decided to
put EST on the market
as a source of revenue in the
wake of recent weakness in its earnings. Among the products
manufactured by EST are the Genesis signaling, Signature
Series detection and FireShield control panel products.

EST was acquired by SPX in 1998 along with the rest of
General Signal.

“They are going to be a big plus for GE because they’re not
going to overlap with the security products of GE and will
basically add another dimension, namely fire,” Mallon
says.

Ken Boyda, the president of GE’s security business,
discusses with SSI the Edwards acquisition. HREF=t_ci_newsView.cfm?nid=1970>Click here for the
story.

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