ATLANTA, Ga., Oct. 3, 2000à‚–General Electric Company has acquired approximately 98 percent of the outstanding ordinary shares and ADSs of Smallworldwide plc pursuant to a tender offer that expired on Monday.
Holders of Smallworld ADSs and ordinary shares which remain outstanding may tender their shares during a subsequent offer period, which commences Oct. 3 and will expire at 9:30 a.m., New York City time and 2:30 p.m., London time, on Tuesday, October 31, 2000.
The acquisition of Smallworld increases GE’s presence as a provider of high-tech software solutions in the utility and public systems industries, while establishing a strategic position in the growing communications industry. Smallworld will operate as GE Smallworld and be a part of the GE Energy management Services, a GE Power Systems business unit. GE Smallworld is recognized for its spatial data software and applications for asset, outage, and work management systems with over 750 utility customers around the world. In addition, GE Smallworld has proven the versatility and strength of its spatial technology and software through rapid product expansion and addition of 120 customers in the telecommunications, broadband and Internet industries.
Robert L. Nardelli, GE Power Systems president and CEO, stated, “We are very excited to have the talented people and expert technology of GE Smallworld as part of our GE family. Now, with the strength of GE Smallworld, we are positioned to provide some of the most advanced software for assisting customers in designing and managing their networks as they continue to strive for improved productivity and service reliability.”
Warren Ferguson, GE Smallworld president and CEO, stated, “We are very pleased with this acquisition, which truly represents a win-win situation for all of us à‚– our customers, our employees, and our shareholders. With the global reach, financial resources, and unmatched commitment to excellence of GE behind us, we are uniquely positioned to deliver on our vision that our software designs and manages the world’s networks.” Dick Newell, previous chairman and new chief technology officer for GE Smallworld, commented, “The fact that GE, one of the most recognized and admired companies in the world, would acquire us confirms Smallworld as the preeminent choice in the market for spatial technology. I’m proud that Smallworld has become part of the GE family.”
Steve Bolze, president and general manager of GE Energy Management Services, commented, “GE Smallworld is a powerful company with a talented, enthusiastic team and solid, innovative technology that clearly delivers results for customers around the globe.
“The addition of GE Smallworld dramatically expands our portfolio of high-tech software, sensors, and systems to meet the demanding needs of the energy and communications marketplace. In addition to GE Smallworld’s presence in the utility and public systems industries, we are equally excited about two notable achievements at GE Smallworld – first, the acquisition of the Spatial Services division of Navigant Consulting and second, the strong revenue growth and customer position gained by Smallworld’s Communications group.”