Safran to divest Morpho Detection to Smiths Group for $710m

Safran has agreed to divest its US subsidiary Morpho Detection to Smiths Group in a deal valued at $710m.

The acquisition also includes other detection related activities.

Based in California, Morpho Detection provides solutions for detecting and identifying chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) threats as well as other illicit items. Its products help improve security at airports, borders, and sensitive sites and events.

Morpho Detection is part of Safran's Morpho business within its security segment, and generated $320m in revenue last year.

Safran CEO Philippe Petitcolin said: "Morpho Detection is in a number of detection segments and global markets and very well positioned to benefit from attractive trends in its end markets. We believe it will be a very valuable addition to Smiths Group's portfolio.

"This transaction is in line with our announced strategy to focus our development on the aerospace and defense markets."

Upon completion of the deal, Morpho Detection will become part of Smiths' detection segment, which designs and manufactures sensors that detect and identify explosives, weapons, chemical agents and other contraband.

Smiths Group CEO Andrew Reynolds Smith said: "The threat environment for people and critical infrastructure around the world is constantly evolving and becoming more complex and sophisticated. The response, to keep people safe and the world running, demands cutting-edge technology and cost-efficient solutions.

"The acquisition is consistent with our approach to increasingly focus investment in highly attractive technology-led markets, and will create significant value for shareholders and position us for long-term growth."

Subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to be completed early next year.