Britain’s Smiths Group earlier this month said it has completed its acquisition of Morpho Detection from France’s Safran Group.

Safran Group's Morpho Detection unit has a $355.2 million contract with TSA to maintain 656 of its explosive detection systems that screen checked bags. Shown here is Safran's CTX 9800 DSi EDS system. Photo: Safran
Smiths acquisition of Morpho Detection provides it with a robust product line of explosives detection systems used to automatically screen checked bags at airports for explosives. Shown here is the CTX 9800 DSi EDS system, which is now in the Smiths Detection portfolio. Photo: Safran Group

Smiths Group must still divest Morpho’s explosive trace detection business, which both European and U.S. required as a condition for approving the $710 million deal that was first announced in April 2016.

Smiths Group’s Smiths Detection business already has an ETD product line. The three main competitors worldwide for ETD units are Smiths, Morpho and L3 Technologies [LLL]. China’s NucTec also sells the technology.

Potential buyers Morpho’s ETD line include Leidos [LDOS] and OSI Systems’ [OSIS] Rapiscan Systems business unit, industry officials believe. Smiths is supposed to divest Morpho’s ETD business within three months of the U.S. Justice Department approving the deal, which happened on March 30.

The acquisition provides Smiths Detection with a strong product line of explosives detection systems that automatically screen checked bags for explosives at airports worldwide.

Morpho Detection had $320 million in sales in 2015, half of which came from aftermarket services, including software. Smiths also said that Morpho has a strong networking background that will helpful in offering future networked solutions.