GE, Smiths Group To Join Security Units


General Electric and London-based Smiths Group have announced a proposed joint venture in detection and homeland security.

The new venture is to be called Smiths GE Detection and unites GE Homeland Protection and Smiths Detection businesses. Under terms of the agreement outlined in a letter of intent, Smiths will run the operation, own 64 percent and have four board seats. GE will own 36 percent and have two board seats.

To the operation, GE will contribute its baggage-screening equipment and portals that scan passengers for explosives. Smiths is also a provider of baggage-scanning systems and portals used to scan passengers at security checkpoints.

Keith Butler-Wheelhouse, CEO of Smiths Group, will serve as board chairman of Smiths GE Detection. Stephen Phipso, the group managing director of Smiths Detection, will serve as president of the joint venture.

Along with needing board and shareholder approval from both companies, the agreement is conditional to regulatory approvals and the completion of the sale of Smiths’ aerospace division to GE.

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