General Electric ( GE) signed a definitive agreement to sell 81% of GE Security's Homeland Protection business to Paris-based aerospace and technology group Safran for $580 million.

GE will own 19% of the business once the transaction closes. The deal has been approved by the boards of both companies.

Dennis Cooke will continue as president and CEO of the company and its headquarters will remain in Newark, Calif.

In a statement Friday, Cooke said the move aligns the homeland protection business with a business "that is committed to globalization and further investment in new detection technologies and new products for the homeland security space."

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