EADS Defense & Security and Atlas Elektronik said they were merging their respective subsidiaries Sofrelog and Atlas Maritime Security to form the joint venture company Sofrelog Atlas (SA) Maritime Security.
EADS will hold 60% and Atlas Elektronik 40% of the new venture which will be based at Bezons (west of Paris), and Bremen, Germany. The new company will have annual sales of around 50 million euros ($61.4 million), with 30 million euros from Sofrelog and 20 million from Atlas.
Sofrelog has doubled annual sales to around 30 million euros since EADS bought the maritime security firm in 2006. The company designs systems architecture for harbor security, tracking vessel traffic and coastal surveillance.
Annual sales of the new venture are expected to be between 100-150 million euros in five years.
EADS hopes the merger of Sofrelog with Atlas Maritime will create a world leader in the market for maritime security.
Sofrelog played a key role in EADS' 1997 win of a Qatari border surveillance contract, dubbed National Security Shield.
The maritime component also contributed to a win of the large Saudi Arabian deal for border surveillance, which includes coverage of the Red Sea and part of the Arabian Gulf.
EADS owns 49% of Atlas Elektronik, and Germany's ThyssenKrupp holds 51%, while voting rights are held 50-50. That gives EADS 80% indirect ownership of the joint venture.
The new company will employ more than 170 maritime specialists. The merger is expected to be complete later this year, following regulatory approvals.