Bianchi Int'l / Gregory Packs sold to Armor Holdings for $60 million

Armor Holdings Inc. (NYSE:AH), a manufacturer of security products and vehicle armor systems, has reached a definitive agreement to purchase Bianchi International. Bianchi is a privately held manufacturer of holsters, belts and accessories to law enforcement and military personnel. Bianchi also owns Gregory and supplies the SPEAR rucksack system to the U.S. Special Operations Forces.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Armor Holdings Inc. (NYSE:AH), a manufacturer of security products and vehicle armor systems, has reached a definitive agreement to purchase Bianchi International. Bianchi is a privately held manufacturer of holsters, belts and accessories to law enforcement and military personnel. Bianchi also owns Gregory and supplies the SPEAR rucksack system to the U.S. Special Operations Forces.

It was reported that Armor will pay $60 million in cash for Bianchi, which will be delivered free of debt. According to a published report, Bianchi recorded $36 million in revenue for the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2004. Analysts familiar with the deal told SNEWS® the number was likely close to six times EBITA. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval, but is expected to close before the end of the year. Once the acquisition is approved, Bianchi will be consolidated into Armor Holdings' products division.

Armor Holdings looks to be on a bit of an acquisition tear. On Sept. 30 of this year, the company announced that it was acquiring The Specialty Group Inc. for $92 million. Specialty Defense owns five manufacturing facilities in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Tennessee and reported approximately $60 million in revenue for the 12-month period ending Sept. 30. The company also reported Specialty had a funded backlog of $95 million, excluding executable options on existing contracts worth $137 million. Specialty produces the well-known MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment) pack system, as well as the Warrior Helmets and the Outer Tactical Vest.

Armor Holdings is expected to post revenues of $933 million in 2004.

SNEWS® View: In all the discussion and release language being tossed about, Gregory garnered one mention from Robert Schiller, president and CEO of Armor: "We believe that the consumer market opportunity for the Gregory brand, which enjoys an excellent reputation amongst outdoor enthusiasts, is compelling." We'll take that as a glowing endorsement -- we think.

No doubt that Bianchi was acquired for what the company offers in the short term to the Armor portfolio in terms of diversity and depth. Only one other company can claim the same strength of brand recognition with law enforcement as Bianchi, and that is Safariland -- owned by none other than Armor. Suffice it to say, Armor is now the 1,000-pound gorilla in terms of supplying holster, belts and body armor to law enforcement folks.

Consider too that with the current state of affairs in terms of military action as well as increased focus on homeland defense, producing products for the military right now is quite a profitable venture. However, that isn't going to last forever, and we suspect that is where Gregory comes in -- a first foothold in a market that is decidedly unmilitary. Sure, there will be immediate synergy that will benefit both Armor and Gregory. Specialty Defense has technologies we could see incorporated into consumer packs and designs from Gregory before too long. In addition, Gregory has design expertise that will likely add functionality and improved design to military pack systems that have not exactly kept up with modern mountaineering-tested technologies either -- often a primary reason special forces folks purchase mountaineering gear with credit cards rather than go through military channels.

In the long term, it would not surprise us to see Armor seeking to add one or two more acquisitions that are from the outdoor world -- but they will likely be companies that can also play on the military side of the fence too. Perhaps a knife company? Maybe a company that manufactures health and safety products?

Related

Gregory Mountain Products back in private hands following management-led purchase

It has been no secret to insiders that John Simons, president of Gregory Mountain Products, has been seeking to acquire Gregory since late 2007. On March 26, Simons announced to SNEWS® that he had gotten his wish. In an all-cash deal, Simons and fellow investors, Warren Kanders ...read more

Gregory_maya_pack.jpg

Gregory Maya pack

This spring, Gregory came out with a snazzy new line of eight daypacks with what the company calls Bio-sync, a suspension system modeled after human tendons. In short, the shoulder straps and each side of the hip belt have two swaths of fabric that attach to the main body of ...read more

Compass_Div_Holdings_Logo.gif

CamelBak acquired by Compass Diversified Holdings for $257 million

Compass Diversified Holdings (NYSE: CODI) has acquired a controlling interest in CamelBak Products, it was announced Aug. 25. The purchase price of $257.5 million is based on a total enterprise value of $245.0 million and included $12.5 million of cash and working capital ...read more

Silver_Steep_Logo.GIF

Massif Mountain Gear acquired by Tactical Holdings

Massif Mountain Gear, a manufacturer of flame-resistant technical apparel based in Ashland, Ore., has been acquired by Tactical Holdings, a global provider of military and tactical footwear, and its equity partner, Golden Gate Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity firm ...read more

CamelBak_general_thumb

CamelBak sold for $412.5 million

Compass Diversified Holdings has sold its CamelBak brand to Vista Outdoor for $412.5 million, officials announced early Monday. Vista Outdoor (NYSE: VSTO) will add the iconic hydration bottle, pack and filter company to a collection of more than 30 outdoor and sporting goods ...read more

BD_Gregory_Acquired-051010a.jpg

Black Diamond, Gregory acquired by Clarus Corp.

Clarus Corp. (OTC: CLRS) announced it is acquiring Black Diamond Equipment and Gregory Mountain Products in two separate but related transactions. Under the terms of the agreements, Clarus will pay $90 million in cash for Black Diamond and $45 million for Gregory, both subject to ...read more

Osprey_departure_front.gif

Osprey Departure 60 travel pack

On a few recent summer trips of less than a week, the mantra of two SNEWS® editors was to rely on only bags that could be carried on to avoid checking (and, therefore, retrieving) luggage. Each was armed with Osprey's new 3,700-cubic-inch Departure 60 travel pack. We'll start ...read more

Gregory_BD_Move_081810.gif

Gregory moving again…but what does this mean for the brand?

The Black Diamond Equipment 2.0 integration has ultimately resulted in Gregory Mountain Products version 7.0 as the company is picking up yet again for another move…hopefully, its last. As was announced first in SNEWS® on Aug. 17, the Gregory brand is moving yet again, this time ...read more

SierraTradingPost_Logo.jpg

Sierra Trading Post sold to TJX Cos. For $200 million

Get ready to possibly see more discounted outdoor products in your neighborhood. The parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods stores announced Friday it has acquired discount outdoor retailer Sierra Trading Post for $200 million. TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX) officials ...read more