FLIR purchases ICx Technologies for $274 million

FLIR purchases ICx Technologies for $274 million

Wilsonville-based FLIR Systems announced this morning an agreement to acquire ICx Technologies for $274 million. FLIR, maker of thermal imaging and camera system products, will pay $7.55 per share for the detection and surveillance company based in Arlington, VA.

ICx is one of the leading providers of sensor technologies for homeland security with reported revenue of approximately $168 million. With the acquisition FLIR will expand its business to include sensors for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives detection for defense and homeland security markets.

Under terms of the agreement ICx can consider competing bids.

"[ICx] has developed and is developing advanced sensors that gives us a very big portfolio of additional sensors to add to ours,” said president and CEO Earl Lewis, during a recorded press conference this morning. “It’s a complete suite of technology, and not trying to develop it ourselves is very worth the asking price.”

Lewis said ICx has done a terrific job in cultivating the government as a customer in order to harness research and development funds in a way that FLIR hasn’t. He hopes that this acquisition will allow FLIR to learn from ICx and also expand its existing intelligence surveillance and radar technologies. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter and upon completion ICx's operations will be integrated into FLIR's Government Systems Division.

FLIR’S government division has seen impressive growth in the last two months. In July a $5.4 million order was placed by U.S. Customers and Border Protection in addition to a $14.1 million order from STARA Technologies for infrared cameras to be used in Afghanistan. FLIR gets approximately 35% of its total revenue from government contracts.

Although government business has grown for FLIR, approximately 22% over the last five years according to Lewis, he expects the commercial side of the business to be more profitable in the long-run. He expects to see this sensor technology eventually used in various sensor systems for commercial vehicles and other products.

ICx also reported lower than expected quarterly results this morning with second-quarter revenue down $36 million compared to $45 million in 2009.

Jessica Hoch is an online reporter for Oregon Business.