PIPS, Idris, now Sirit being acquired by Federal Signal

January 14, 2010
By Peter Samuel

Sirit, the leading electronic toll supplier to California is being acquired by Federal Signal. The Toronto Canada based company says it has signed a "definitive agreement to be acquired" by Federal Signal in a $48m (C$49.5m) deal. All the common shares of Sirit would be bought by Federal Signal for C30c apiece which represents a premium of 37% over their average traded price on the Toronto stock exchange in the last month.  

It is a 60% advance on their 60 day average stock price, they say.

Follows Idris, PIPS buys

Federal Signal will become a major force in tolling with the acquisition of one of the big three north American DSRC manufacturers (Mark IV and TransCore being the other two). The deal for Sirit follows Federal Signal's acquisition of Diamond Consulting the leader with the Idris system in smart loops for vehicle classification and PIPS, the traffic camera and automated license plate recognition specialists.

Sirit has concentrated on open standard toll equipment - the old Title 21 series of decades old hardbody transponders that California's legislators impose on that state plus the advanced ISO 18000 6B/C series sticker tags elsewhere.

Sirit apparently has a business with major potential by being one of the first companies contracted to implement electronic vehicle registration (EVR) - in Mexico. Sirit has experience in designing, supplying, installing and maintaining the readers needed for sticker tag systems.

Federal Signal is a Chicago area company going back to 1901 that was a pioneer of traffic signals but has diversified so widely it uses the delightfully expansive corporate slogan "Advancing security and well-being" (not only burglar alarms but spa/massage parlor services too?)

Sirit is focused on RFID (radio frequency identification) tag systems for tolling, parking, electronic vehicle registration and access control. It was founded to take over electronic tag systems from Texas Instruments when that company got out of the tag business in the mid-1990s. TI had developed and written the specs for the Title 21 system still in use in California.

CEO statements

William Osbourne, president and CEO of Federal Signal is quoted:

"We are excited about this transaction with Sirit, as it further strengthens Federal Signal's best-inclass product portfolio and advances our stated strategy of driving growth through our Public Safety Systems platform. Sirit, Diamond Consulting Services and PIPS have a proven record of success in jointly delivering superior technology-based client solutions.

"We are committed to investment in research and development to maintain Sirit's reputation for technical excellence and with the addition of Sirit's talented employees, we look forward to further differentiating Federal Signal's Public Safety Systems offering."

He goes on: "Global market trends for Intelligent Transport Systems are robust and we believe the addition of Sirit will enhance long-term earnings and provide greater revenue visibility through recurring revenues. We are confident Federal Signal will be better positioned to help customers capitalize on road-user charging technologies and deliver enhanced value to our stockholders."

Sirit happy too

For their part Sirit say they're equally pleased, the company's president and CEO Nobert Dawalibi being quoted: "We are thrilled to be joining Federal Signal and are excited by the opportunities we will have as part of a larger organization with greater financial resources and access to a wider customer base.

"The combination of Sirit and Federal Signal creates a superior technology platform and service offering, while providing customers with more complete and fully integrated solutions.

"We look forward to working closely with the Federal Signal team to ensure a smooth transition and complete the transaction as expeditiously as possible."

Full announcement with more transaction detail:

On the two companies:

http://www.federalsignal.com/

http://www.sirit.com/

TOLLROADSnews 2010-01-14

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