Chances are good that if you’ve got any time around MRAPs you know Force Protection, Inc. General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) has agreed to pay $5.52 per share of common stock for a total of about $360 million to purchase FPI. This move isn’t really that surprising as for the last five years GDLS and FPI have partnered in the production of the Cougar. However, considering that both the Army and Marine Corps have discussed curtailing their MRAP buys, the timing seems somewhat late.
Conversely, this move does help GD further corner the US armored vehicle market. Already, they manufacture both the Abrams main battle tank and Stryker infantry combat vehicle. Additionally, as you may recall, FPI developed the JAMMA for use as a SOF Internally Transportable Vehicle. With GMVS 1.1 in full swing, this move may help strengthen the case for the JAMMA.
“Force Protection complements and strategically expands General Dynamics’ armored vehicle business, adding new products to the expansive portfolio of combat vehicles that we currently manufacture and support,” said Mark C. Roualet, president of General Dynamics Land Systems. “In addition, Force Protection’s skilled workforce provides high-quality support and sustainment services to an installed fleet of approximately 3,000 vehicles, strengthening our ability to support assets deployed with U.S. forces around the world. With this acquisition, we will create new opportunities to serve domestic and international customers alike.”
Michael Moody, chairman and chief executive officer of Force Protection, Inc., commented, “After careful consideration of the strategic direction of Force Protection, our board decided that a sale to General Dynamics would maximize value for our stockholders. With their armored vehicle business, General Dynamics will be able to pursue opportunities that we could not have pursued as a stand-alone company. As part of the General Dynamics family, our innovative products and offerings will continue to provide militaries worldwide critical assets that save troops’ lives.”