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Sofradir to Acquire Electrophysics

October 17, 2008

The acquisition of the U.S. infrared equipment company will accelerate the French company's penetration of the North American market.


Paris, France, and Fairfield, NJ -- Sofradir, a leading developer and manufacturer of advanced infrared (IR) detectors for military, space, and industrial applications announced that it will acquire Electrophysics, a U.S. developer of advanced, high-performance IR equipment. Sofradir expects to complete the transaction within 30 days. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

The acquisition is expected to accelerate the development of Sofradir and its subsidiary ULIS in the North American market. It will provide Sofradir and ULIS with a U.S. platform to better serve the North American IR detector and module market, estimated at $1 billion (approximately €700 million), the largest in the world.

"This strategic foothold will boost Sofradir and ULIS's growth by bringing us closer to customers in the U.S. who will have ready access to our advanced cooled and uncooled IR technologies, known for their performance, reliability, and producibility," said Philippe Bensussan, Chairman and CEO of Sofradir and Chairman of ULIS. "Having a U.S. base of operations will allow us to be more cost competitive and responsive to our customers."

Electrophysics' President, Frank Vallese, who will continue to head the U.S. operation said: "We are delighted with this opportunity. It will be a big plus to have Sofradir's talent, technology, and expertise here on North American soil. Sofradir has an exciting product development roadmap and an established history of delivering high-quality IR detectors. We foresee a wide range of market opportunities in public safety, security, and defense, supplying both OEM's and system integrators."

Sofradir is a leading provider of IR detectors. Together with ULIS, the company shipped 40,000 IR detectors worldwide this year. The purchase of Electrophysics, founded in 1969, will help it ramp up sales and enhance the service it provides to U.S. customers in the defense, space, and commercial industries.

"By joining the experienced team of 35 at Electrophysics, Sofradir is taking an important step forward to the benefit of the customers of both companies," added Bensussan.

About Sofradir
Sofradir develops and manufactures advanced IR detectors for military, space, and commercial applications. It specializes in cooled IR detectors, based on a sophisticated high-performance technology, mercury cadmium telluride, and its vast product portfolio of scanning and staring arrays covers the entire infrared spectrum. Sofradir also offers QWIP detectors, developed in cooperation with Thales. Ulis, a subsidiary of Sofradir, which designs and manufactures low-cost uncooled amorphous silicon IR detectors for commercial applications. Together the companies generated revenues of $165 million (€110 million) in 2007.

Sofradir and Ulis directly export more than 70% of their products. Customers include the U.S. Army, European Space Agency, Thales, Sagem, Selex, Thales Alenia Space, and FLIR Systems.

Sofradir's headquarters is located in Chatenay-Malabry, near Paris, France. Its manufacturing facilities and those of ULIS are located in Veurey-Voroize, near Grenoble. Sofradir and Ulis employ 470 people.

About Electrophysics
Founded in 1969, Electrophysics designs and manufactures IR equipment for a wide range of imaging applications, including portable thermal imagers, as well as night vision modules for low-light photography and videography. The company sells to industrial, scientific, law enforcement, and U.S. Department of Defense customers. In addition, it develops image acquisition and analysis software and a range of application-specific accessories, including optics. The company, located in Fairfield, NJ, has 35 employees and annual revenues of $12 million ((€8 million).


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