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Teledyne moves to buy FLIR Systems after France blocks Photonis purchase

US industrial conglomerate Teledyne Technologies has agreed to acquire American sensor manufacturer FLIR Systems for USD8 billion in cash and stock, the two companies jointly announced on 4 January.

FLIR Systems is based in Arlington, Virginia. (FLIR Systems)

FLIR Systems is based in Arlington, Virginia. (FLIR Systems)

Jim Cannon, FLIR’s president and CEO, said the combination will bring together complementary products, creating an “end-to-end portfolio of sensory technologies for all key domains and applications across a well-balanced, global customer base”.

The two companies said they have little product and customer overlap, as their sensors are based on different semiconductor technologies for different wavelengths. In the infrared imaging market, for example, Teledyne focuses on astronomy and space, while FLIR concentrates on other domains, such as air and land.

Teledyne said it will pay for the acquisition with a mix of cash in hand and new debt. The transaction, which requires regulatory reviews, is expected to close in mid-2021.

The acquisition will leave FLIR stockholders owning about 20% of the combined company, which will have total annual sales of about USD5 billion. While FLIR pays shareholders a dividend, Teledyne does not, and Robert Mehrabian, Teledyne’s executive chairman, told analysts he does not expect the combined company will pay one.

Founded in 1978, FLIR has traditionally focused on building thermal cameras and other sensors but has expanded into unmanned systems over the past few years through several acquisitions. Most recently, it announced in early December that it had acquired Altavian, which makes small unmanned aircraft.

The Teledyne-FLIR announcement came less than three weeks after Teledyne learned that the French Ministry of the Armed Forces had blocked its proposed acquisition of France-based Photonis, which makes military night-vision equipment.

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