ION Agrees to Acquire ARAM Systems Ltd.

    Accretive Transaction Strengthens ION's Portfolio of Land Seismic Imaging

    Conference Call Scheduled for Wednesday, July 9th at 9 AM EDT

    HOUSTON, July 9 /CNW/ -- ION Geophysical Corporation (NYSE:   IO) announced
today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire all of the
outstanding shares of ARAM Systems Ltd., a Canadian-based provider of
cable-based land seismic recording systems, and its affiliate company,
Canadian Seismic Rentals, Inc.  Of the gross purchase price of CDN $350
million, US $275 million will be paid in cash while the remainder will be paid
in ION common stock.  The transaction is expected to be earnings neutral for
the remainder of 2008 and accretive to ION's consolidated pro-forma earnings
in 2009.
    Commenting on the acquisition, Bob Peebler, ION's President and CEO,
stated, "Over the last several years, ARAM has demonstrated a clear ability to
gain presence in an expanding global market for cable-based land seismic
recording systems.  ARAM's reputation for engineering and supply chain
excellence, product reliability, and value-adding customer support have
contributed to rapidly growing revenues that now exceed $100 million per year.
From a starting position as a low cost, niche player in the land systems
business, ARAM has firmly established itself as a major player in the analog
segment of the market.  Their ARIES recording systems, known for reliability
and ease of use, have been embraced by contractors.  The pending introduction
of ARIES II will allow ARAM to compete aggressively for high channel-count
analog business and should extend the company's track record of delivering
high quality, low cost systems.  We believe the scope and scale of the
combined entity will offer our customers expanded and accelerated access to a
broader range of instrumentation options and enable our consolidated land
businesses to grow more rapidly and deliver bottom-line results more
effectively than either company could on its own.  In addition to synergies
associated with the consolidation of product roadmaps and technical and
operations personnel, we have a significant opportunity to leverage each
other's customer base for cross-selling and up-selling as well as to
incorporate ARAM's proven ability to design and manufacture high-margin land
imaging systems within ION."
    Chris Chamberlain, President and CEO of ARAM, added, "Under Bob Peebler's
leadership, ION has formulated and begun to realize a vision for a new kind of
technology-focused seismic company.  By introducing products such as
VectorSeis(R) and FireFly(R) and by acquiring innovation leaders like GX
Technology and Concept Systems, ION has assembled a portfolio of land imaging
hardware, software, and imaging services that is capturing the imaginations of
both contractors and E&P companies.  We believe ARAM's products and people can
play a key role in helping ION to achieve its vision more quickly and with
improved financial results."
    Don Chamberlain, founder and Chairman of ARAM, stated, "While cableless
systems like FireFly offer a compelling alternative to the mainstream cable-
based systems that ARAM has focused on, the progression from a cable-based to
a cableless world will take some time.  During this multi-year transition,
ARAM can provide ION with engineering and supply chain capabilities and field
support and customer-relationship networks that will enable the combined
entity to continue to grow in what is expected to be an expanding market for
land seismic instruments.  While moving from private ownership to being part
of a public company isn't a decision to be taken lightly, I am convinced that
becoming a part of the ION family of companies is the right thing to do for
our employees and our customers.  One only has to look at the success that
both GXT and Concept Systems have had within ION as the proof cases."
    Peebler concluded by saying, "This transaction enables our combined land
imaging systems group to offer our contractor customers the right tools for
their jobs, including cableless FireFly and a choice of cable-based systems
available in either analog geophone or digital, full-wave VectorSeis sensor
configurations.  More than 70% of the world's future hydrocarbons will be
provided by onshore reservoirs that need to be discovered or appraised with
the latest seismic technologies.  By combining forces, ION and ARAM stand
ready to outfit our customers with the most advanced, most comprehensive
toolkit for this endeavor."
    The US $275 million cash portion of the transaction is expected to be
sourced by a term loan issued in conjunction with ION's existing line of
credit and from the proceeds of long-term debt, terms and conditions of which
have yet to be finalized.  Including anticipated interest expenses, the
issuance of ION common stock to finance the non-cash portion of the
transaction, and synergies, but excluding one-time charges, the acquisition is
projected to be earnings-neutral for the remainder of 2008 and accretive on a
consolidated pro-forma basis in 2009.  Evercore Group L.L.C. served as ION's
financial advisor, while Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. L.L.C advised ARAM.
    At the close of business on July 7th 2008, the exchange rate reported by
the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the International Monetary Fund was
CAD 1.02 : USD 1.00.
    For more information about the transaction, visit: A conference call to discuss
the ARAM transaction has been scheduled for Wednesday, July 9, 2008 at 9 AM
EDT (8 AM CDT).  The conference call, hosted by ION President and CEO Bob
Peebler and ION CFO Brian Hanson, can be accessed as follows:

    Via Webcast:
    -- Visit ION's investor relations web page at
    -- Live: Click on the link for "ION Geophysical Investor Conference Call"
    -- Replay: A replay via webcast will be available on the Company's
       website approximately one hour after the call's completion

    Via Telephone within the U.S.:
    -- Live: Dial toll free (800) 240-4186
    -- Replay: A telephone replay will be available through
       Thursday, July 17, by dialing toll free (800) 405-2236,
       passcode: 11116935No.

    Via Telephone outside the U.S.:
    -- Live: Dial +1 (303) 262-2130
    -- Replay: A telephone replay will be available through
       Thursday, July 17, by dialing +1 (303) 590-3000, passcode: 11116935No.

    About ION

    ION is a leading provider of geophysical technology, services, and
solutions for the global oil & gas industry. ION's offerings allow E&P
operators to obtain higher resolution images of the subsurface to reduce the
risk of exploration and reservoir development, and enable seismic contractors
to acquire geophysical data more efficiently. Additional information about ION
is available at
    The information included herein contains forward-looking statements
within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section
21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may vary
fundamentally from those described in these forward-looking statements. All
forward-looking statements reflect numerous assumptions and involve a number
of risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include risk factors
that are disclosed by ION from time to time in its filings with the Securities
and Exchange Commission.

     ION (Financial community)
     Chief Financial Officer
     Brian Hanson, +1 281.879.3672

     ION (Media affairs)
     Senior Manager - Corporate Marketing
     Jenny Salinas, +1 713.366.7286

For further information:

For further information: Financial community, Brian Hanson, Chief
Financial Officer, +1-281-879-3672, or Media, Jenny Salinas, Senior Manager -
Corporate Marketing, +1-713-366-7286,, both of ION
Geophysical Corporation Web Site:

Organization Profile


More on this organization


More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890