Sofradir announces GE as new shareholder for its subsidiary, Ulis

May 1, 2008
Veurey-Voroize, France--Sofradir has announced that General Electric will become a minority shareholder in Ulis, manufacturer of uncooled infrared detectors.

Veurey-Voroize, France--Sofradir, a developer and manufacturer of advanced cooled infrared detectors for military, space, and commercial applications, announced today that General Electric Company (GE), will become a minority shareholder in Ulis, a subsidiary of Sofradir and maker of uncooled infrared detectors mainly for commercial applications.

In the deal, GE obtains a 15% ownership and replaces minority shareholder CEA Valorisation, an equity investor for the French Atomic Energy Agency (Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique). The exit of CEA Valorisation's was in accordance with the 2002 shareholder agreement to allow an exit after a five-year period. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Sofradir remains the principal shareholder with 85%.

"We're delighted to have GE join us as we enter a new phase at Ulis," said Philippe Bensussan, chairman and CEO at Sofradir and chairman at Ulis. "Ulis has successfully turned its amorphous silicon technology into marketable products for commercial infrared equipment in an accelerated mode. The CEA brought key technology assets in the form of patents and tight cooperation for continuous improvements of the technology.

"Ulis took full advantage of this producible technology, which is fully compatible with silicon processes, and offers to the market detectors which outperform other existing competing technologies. The company is poised for further growth into professional and mass markets, and GE's portfolio of activities including medical and sensor applications will help open new doors and opportunities. It is a good deal for us, GE, and CEA Valorisation," added Bensussan.

Founded in 2002 as a subsidiary of Sofradir, Ulis develops and manufactures low-cost, uncooled, long-wave infrared imagers for building inspection, fire-fighter equipment, night-vision enhancements for drivers of vehicles, and industrial maintenance and surveillance. Ulis has experienced an average 50% annual growth since 2002. Sales for 2007 stood at USD $60 million (EUR 39 M).

For more information on Ulis, please visit www.ulis-ir.com.

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