Friday, December 09, 2005

Will GE Capitalize on Homeland Security Market?

When General Electric Co. bought Invision Technologies Inc. in Newark for $900 million in December 2004, the global conglomerate was making a huge bet on a still nascent but growing niche market: homeland security.
Today GE's subsidiary, GE Security Homeland Protection Business, is poised to cash in on that bet. Its acquisition of Invision, one of the leading makers of luggage bomb detection machines, has put the company right in the middle of an anticipated explosive growth in the security market.
The worldwide homeland security market, estimated to have grown into a $40 billion market since 2001, will balloon to a $115 billion industry in the next five years, according to the Civitas Group, a Washington, D.C., consulting firm.
But GE Security President Dennis Cooke is not content to merely be a leader in luggage explosive detection systems, now a $300 million business for the company. Cooke wants an even bigger slice of the security market.
"Security is where quality was 20 or 30 years ago," Cooke said during an interview at the company's headquarters in Newark. "Businesses didn't think of quality as much then and now every company has quality control. We are now seeing businesses with chief security officers on staff, and we believe security is going to be as ubiquitous in commerce and government as quality is today. (more)