GE Buying UK-Based Smiths Aerospace For $4.8 Billion

Company makes engine components and integrated systems.

General Electric Monday said it will buy Smiths Aerospace, a U.K.-based supplier of integrated systems for aircraft manufacturers and components for engine builders, for $4.8 billion in cash.

GE said the deal will help broaden its offerings for aviation customers by adding Smiths flight management systems, electrical power management, mechanical actuation systems and airborne platform computing systems to GE Aviation’s commercial and military aircraft engines and related services.

“This acquisition is consistent with our strategy to invest in high-technology infrastructure businesses that deliver strong growth, earnings expansion and higher margins,” GE Chief Executive Jeff Immelt said.

Smiths Aerospace, which is part of Smiths Group, has more than 11,000 employees and had $2.4 billion in revenue last year. The company has a significant presence on most commercial aircraft, including the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320, as well as many military aircraft. Smiths also has a major presence on new aircraft such as the Boeing 787, Airbus A380 and the Joint Strike Fighter.

Smiths products include flight management systems, airborne platform computing systems, power generation, conversion and distribution products, actuation products and systems for flight control, thrust reversers and landing gear applications, various engine components and a global customer services organization.

GE Aviation is headquartered in Evendale, Ohio, has 26,800 employees and had $13.2 billion in revenues in 2006. Its products include jet engines for civil and military aircraft, as well as aeroderivative engines for marine applications. GE Aviation also operates a worldwide network of engine services facilities.

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