Eagle Industries

AeroVironment to Acquire Arcturus UAV, Expanding Product Portfolio and Reach into Group 2 and 3 Unmanned Aircraft Systems Segments

January 14th, 2021

• Total transaction value of $405 million in cash and stock

• Arcturus UAV’s complementary capabilities provide program diversification, increase key customer penetration and enhance shareholder value

• Arcturus UAV is well positioned for ongoing United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Mid-Endurance UAS (MEUAS) task orders, United States Army Future Tactical UAS (FTUAS) program delivery orders and international contracts

• Expected to be immediately accretive to revenue growth, adjusted EBITDA margin and non-GAAP diluted EPS, excluding intangible assets, amortization expense and deal and integration costs, and accretive to GAAP diluted EPS by fiscal year 2022

• AeroVironment to host conference call and audio webcast at 2:00 pm Pacific Time today

AeroVironment, Inc. to Acquire Arcturus UAV, Expand Reach into Group 2 and 3 UAS Segments (Photo: AeroVironment)

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. Jan 13, 2021 – AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems, and Arcturus UAV, Inc., a privately-held leading provider of Group 2 and 3 unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and services, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which AeroVironment will acquire Arcturus UAV for a total purchase price of $405 million, including $355 million in cash and $50 million in AeroVironment stock.  The transaction, which was unanimously approved by the AeroVironment and Arcturus UAV Boards of Directors, is expected to accelerate AeroVironment’s strategy to drive profitable growth and value by expanding into attractive adjacent segments and by broadening its capabilities and customer footprint.

Founded in 2004 and based in Petaluma, California, Arcturus UAV has approximately 270 employees, designs and manufactures Group 2 and Group 3 UAS and provides related services, including contractor-owned, contractor-operated (COCO) services. Arcturus UAV is a leading supplier to the USSOCOM, supporting its $1.4 billion MEUAS III and IV programs, and one of four awardees selected for funded development and demonstrations supporting the U.S. Army’s FTUAS program, a potential billion dollar, and next-generation UAS program. Arcturus UAV has a demonstrated track record of solid performance, with topline growth exceeding 20 percent for each of its last two fiscal years.

“We are excited about the opportunities for value creation through our acquisition of Arcturus UAV, which will enable us to accelerate our growth strategy and expand our reach into the more valuable Group 2 and 3 UAS segments,” said Wahid Nawabi, AeroVironment president and chief executive officer. “Group 2 and 3 UAS and services, collectively, potentially represent more than one billion dollars in annual contract value, according to an independent forecast. Combining our highly complementary products and technologies will enhance our portfolio, deliver top and bottom-line growth, and enable us to provide customers with a complete set of Group 1 through 3 UAS, tactical missile systems, high-altitude pseudo-satellites and unmanned ground vehicle solutions. Through this expanded portfolio, we will be well positioned to serve a broader range of customer missions across multiple domains and significantly enhance value for shareholders over the near and long-term.”

“The Arcturus UAV team has produced strong growth in recent years and has secured strategically important wins in the MEUAS and FTUAS programs, positioning Arcturus as a leader for next-generation program requirements. Together, we will offer an unmatched portfolio of multi-domain unmanned capabilities, supported by our ongoing investments in artificial intelligence and autonomy, to help our customers address a broad set of defense and commercial missions. We look forward to welcoming Arcturus UAV’s talented team, strong customer relationships in growing UAS segments and robust pipeline of innovations to AeroVironment,” Mr. Nawabi added.

“AeroVironment’s depth of experience in UAS and tactical missile systems, international presence, and impressive team is a natural fit for Arcturus UAV, and will create substantial opportunities to build on our strong momentum,” said D’Milo Hallerberg, Arcturus UAV president and chief executive officer. “With the support of AeroVironment, we will have greater scale, expanded resources, cutting-edge technology and superior capabilities to meet the growing global demand for our products and solutions. We are confident that with AeroVironment, we can accelerate our growth as part of a larger, more diverse company and look forward to working closely with the team to complete this exciting transaction.”

Arcturus UAV’s products include the JUMP-20, a multi-mission, medium endurance vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) system requiring no launch equipment or runway and the T-20, a multi-mission, medium endurance catapult-launched system. Arcturus UAV sells its products directly to end users and delivers COCO services. All Arcturus UAV systems have the ability to carry a broad range of payloads, including standard EO/IR gimbals as well as 3-D mapping, SAR, LIDAR, communications relay, COMINT and SIGINT payloads. 

AeroVironment expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to adjusted EBITDA, excluding deal and integration costs, and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share, excluding intangible assets, amortization expense and deal and integration costs, and accretive to GAAP diluted EPS in fiscal year 2022, while increasing pro forma net leverage to 0.5 times adjusted EBITDA.

Upon completion of the transaction, key members of the Arcturus UAV executive management team will remain in leadership positions. The transaction is expected to close during fourth quarter of AeroVironment’s fiscal year 2021, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. At close, Arcturus UAV will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AeroVironment.

The purchase price represents a multiple of approximately 11x Arcturus UAV’s LTM 9/30/20 adjusted EBITDA, net of anticipated tax benefits. In connection with the acquisition, AeroVironment has received commitments for a $200 million Term Loan Facility and $100 million revolver (undrawn at close) with Bank of America, N.A. acting as Administrative Agent, and with BofA Securities, Inc., JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and U.S. Bank National Association acting as arrangers. AeroVironment will fund approximately $155 million of the acquisition from cash on hand.

Brownells Debuts New Optic, Gives Prizes During NOT Show eVent

January 14th, 2021

GRINNELL, Iowa (January 13, 2021) –With traditional trade shows canceled, Brownells will cap its week long NOT Show eVent, January 18 through 22, with the release of the next scope in the Brownells Match Precision Optic line.

First announced at SHOT Show 2019, the Brownells MPO scopes have high-quality glass made in Japan, and Brownells’ unique Non-Obscuring Illuminated Milling Reticle. The illuminated reticle features a central aiming dot inside a box, allowing precise aim at small targets without blocking them from view.

The newest MPO is a 1-8X24mm model with a similar reticle and is perfect for use on flattop AR-15 style firearms, or any other platform suited for an LPVO for quick switches between up-close shooting and targets farther out. 

Open for pre-order starting Friday, January 22, the 1-8X24mm MPO It will be available by itself or packaged with a Brownells mount:

• #080-001-394  1-8X24 MPO Scope, $799.99 retail

• #080-001-395  1-8X24mm MPO Scope with Brownells Mount, $899.99 retail

Throughout the NOT Show eVent week, visitors to the Brownells NOT Show eVent page can enter for a chance to win a variety of prizes valued up to $1,600, including complete firearms from both Stag Arms and FM, a Midwest Industries handguard and Grey Ghost Precision parts for the Sig 320.

In addition, videos will appear on the Brownells NOT Show eVent page featuring companies like Magpul, Aero Precision, Hornady and others focusing on recently-released products.

Customers will be able to purchase some of the products immediately and sign up for alerts on other new products soon to be in stock.

To learn more, go to Brownells.com.

DOD utilizes 3D-printing to Create N95 Respirators in the Battle Against COVID-19

January 14th, 2021

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity’s Warfighter Expeditionary Medicine and Treatment Project Management Office, as part of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command’s Additive Manufacturing Working Group, has played an integral role in the ramped-up effort to produce N95 respirators for healthcare and frontline workers across the nation. As stated on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website, an N95 respirator is “a respiratory protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles.” Compared to a surgical mask, which is loose-fitting, the edges of the N95 mask are designed to form a very tight seal around the individual’s nose and mouth, providing the highest levels of protection against infection from COVID-19.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Daniel Williams serves as product manager of the WEMT PMO’s N95 respirator efforts at USAMMDA. These include coordinating programmatic and regulatory support, leveraging existing government resources, and developing synergies within the Department of Defense’s organic industrial base to successfully generate N95 respirator products. He explained that his primary task is to ensure the medical device meets military needs and regulatory requirements, and that development of the product remains on schedule and within budget.

In a recent interview, Williams offered a great deal of insight with regard to USAMMDA’s N95 respirator efforts, and the work to produce and distribute these products as quickly as possible in the battle against the spread of COVID-19 throughout our nation and the world.

JS: As product manager within the WEMT PMO, please describe your responsibilities in regard to the N95 respirator effort.

DW: The N95 effort is a slightly atypical experience, in that we are primarily working with DOD partners who have never manufactured medical devices. However, they have extensive experience in various methods of manufacturing, including additive manufacturing, also known as three-dimensional, or 3D, printing. So, our primary responsibility is assisting these DOD manufacturers in navigating the medical device world, including compliance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health regulations. Further, we facilitate test and evaluation of their products, by leveraging DOD laboratories and government partners to obtain performance feedback on respirator prototypes.

JS: Please describe the features of the N95 respirator, and why this device is superior to others currently on the market. What is its significance, especially with regard to COVID?

DW: It’s not so much superiority, as it is availability. One of the highest levels of respiratory protection for medical purposes, to include viral infection, is a NIOSH-certified N95 respirator. These come in multiple forms, but all are held to the same standard of filtering at least 95 percent of relevant particles, such as the Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 virus. Most people are familiar with what is called an FFR, or a Filtering Facepiece Respirator. These are the standard disposable, one-time-use products typically worn by our healthcare workers. However, at this time, these types of masks are nearly impossible to 3D-print. Our group has been working on what is called an elastomeric half-mask respirator, which is a reusable frame produced by a 3D printer, with a disposable media or cartridge that filters at the 95-percent level.

When the pandemic hit, the on-hand supply of N95 respirators, specifically FFRs, was quickly exhausted and traditional N95 manufacturers were not prepared to meet this new demand. Therefore, the primary purpose of the N95 working group is to develop N95 respirators to supplement existing supplies of respirators, as well as to develop new manufacturing capabilities within the DOD’s organic industrial base, which consists of military arsenals, maintenance depots and ammunition factories. Ensuring the DOD has the capability to independently manufacture protective respiratory devices will help to protect frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will also help to maintain our military readiness in the face of future pandemics or biothreats.

JS: Please detail the current status of the N95 program, and explain what lies ahead.

DW: Currently, we’ve partnered with multiple organizations across the DOD including the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and the Defense Logistics Agency to support N95 respirator design, manufacturing and distribution through existing logistics. To date, we’ve facilitated testing of 18 iterations of respirator design, and two have successfully passed preliminary evaluation at the Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Chemical Biological Center. Our next steps will be to assist these manufacturers with the NIOSH application and process, to obtain an N95 certification for these respirators. Further, we are continuously seeking new partners within the DOD who have N95-related efforts, so that we may be able to assist.

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly illustrated that civilian medical supply chains were unprepared to rapidly scale-up production of critical medical supplies such as medical personal protective equipment, including N95 respirators. Although this crisis will end, the next one could come along at any time. Additionally, the impact of critical medical supply shortages on military readiness could occur again in future battlefields from natural pandemics or biothreat agents. By continuing to focus on producing medical devices within the DOD organic industrial base, we can translate the lessons we’ve learned with medical PPE shortages into better preparedness for the next medical crisis, as well as for future conflicts in a Multi-Domain Operational environment.

JS: Why was the WEMT PMO tasked with the N95 respirator effort?

DW: The WEMT PMO’s everyday mission is to develop and deliver medical devices to our Service partners in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our program office was able to naturally pivot and leverage our staff’s medical product development expertise and apply it to the crisis at hand. This is truly what project managers do – we find creative ways to deliver effective, suitable and timely medical solutions when and where they are needed most.

JS: Please list the other members of the N95 respirator program team, and detail their responsibilities in the overall effort.

DW: The team has been phenomenal and is comprised of many professionals. However, the N95 program is actually a subgroup of the USAMRDC’s Additive Manufacturing Working Group, and nothing could have been accomplished without its assistance and guidance. The AMWG oversees three specific product lines: diagnostic swabs, ventilator parts and accessories, and the N95 respirator. As the lead for the N95 line of effort, I was tasked with outlining FDA and NIOSH requirements, initiating agreements between organizations, and leading an N95 working group to facilitate collaboration amongst all of our partners.

The N95 team specifically, can really be split into three different components, and we’d be nowhere without the ongoing collaborative effort from each component. First are our manufacturing partners, the U.S. Navy Underwater Warfare Center-Keyport, U.S. Forces Korea, Defense Logistics Agency, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. These organizations have the technical and subject matter expertise to not only design an N95 respirator, but actually to produce it through additive manufacturing methods.

Second is our AMWG team members at USAMRDC, comprised of the Office of Regulated Activities, Office of the Principal Assistant for Acquisition, Legal office, and USAMMDA’s Office of Research and Technology Applications and the WEMT PMO. The USAMRDC ensures all regulatory requirements for the respirator have been met, appropriate agreements are in place between organizations, and that any concerns with patents or intellectual property on the respirator designs have been addressed. It also provides clinical expertise on potential products, and facilitates test and evaluation of N95 respirator prototypes.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center. The CCDC CBC has been evaluating all forms of respirators for decades, and has an unparalleled knowledge of respirator design and evaluation. Once our manufacturing partners have produced a prototype, it is sent to CCDC CBC for evaluation, to determine whether it will meet the NIOSH standards for an N95 respirator. The CCDC CBC has been critical in providing performance feedback and offering design suggestions for our manufacturers, allowing iterative prototyping to expedite development of respirators.

JS: Other than for the current pandemic, what are some other (future) uses of the N95 mask?

DW: The N95 was thrust into the spotlight as COVID-19 is an airborne respiratory illness. However, the N95 respirator has long been used as medical PPE to prevent against other airborne illnesses, as well as in industrial settings to protect workers against airborne environmental toxins. Therefore, even when the COVID-19 pandemic ends, the N95 respirator will still be a much-needed product in these types of situations.

JS: Is there anything else you would like to say regarding the N95 working group?

DW: Tireless effort is put in on a daily basis, from N95 working group members internal and external to USAMMDA and USAMRDC, USAMMDA’s higher headquarters. It has been such an honor to work with such an amazing group of professionals, spanning the medical and non-medical communities, and a truly unique experience to see so many different specialties come together for a common goal. I am extremely grateful to have been a part of it, and I would like to say a sincere “Thank you” to everyone involved!

USAMMDA is a subordinate command of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, under the Army Futures Command. As the premier developer of world-class military medical capabilities, USAMMDA is responsible for developing and delivering critical products designed to protect and preserve the lives of Warfighters across the globe. These products include drugs, vaccines, biologics, devices and medical support equipment intended to maximize survival of casualties on the battlefield.

Shotgun Shooters on Team Federal Enjoyed Another Great Year of Success and Look Forward to 2021

January 13th, 2021

ANOKA, Minnesota – January 8, 2021 – The list of Team Federal competition wins for Trap, Skeet and Sporting Clays in 2020 is long and impressive. Season highlights included Federal sponsored shooters winning big at the 2020 National Sporting Clays Championships and the 2020 Main World Skeet Championships, plus many other competitions across the country.

“It was a great year for Team Federal, considering the circumstances and all the shoots that were canceled, with many of our team members being selected to their All American Teams,” said Mike Hampton Sr., Team Federal’s Manager for Shotgun Sports. “We are very proud of our sponsored shotgun sport shooters on Team Federal. They are great role models, good sportsmen, high in morals and integrity. And after all that, they are great shots and are helpful and approachable.”

Hampton reported many notable accomplishments from the team in 2020. In Trap, both Aaron Willoughby and Grayson Stuart completed their Grand Slam, and Ray Stafford was selected as Team Captain of the Senior Vet Team. In Skeet, Jason Ward won the World Champion title in the 28-gauge division of the 2020 Main World Skeet Championships, and Paul Giambrone was named World Champion in the Champion of Champions event. In Sporting Clays, Team Federal’s newest member Derrick Mein topped the podium as High Over All (HOA) at the 2020 National Sporting Clays Championships. Janet McDougall took home Runner-Up honors in the Main Lady Event.

“Team Federal certainly has some of the top shooters in the world, and they did well all year long in multiple disciplines. We also look forward to seeing Derrick and other USA Shooting team members represent the U.S.A. in Tokyo in July 2021,” said Federal’s Vice President of Marketing Jason Nash. “We are proud of their choice to shoot our products, and we look forward to seeing many competition wins throughout 2021.”

Federal is the official shotshell ammunition sponsor and supplier of USA Shooting, a non-profit organization that promotes the shooting sports and prepares American athletes to bring home gold. Federal is also a large supporter of the Amateur Trap Association (ATA), National Skeet Shooters Association (NSSA), National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA), and many other national, regional and state shooting sports organizations. 

Federal ammunition can be found at dealers nationwide or purchased online direct from Federal. For more information on all products from Federal or to shop online, visit www.federalpremium.com.

Lipsey’s Donates $10K to Walk The Talk America (WTTA)

January 13th, 2021

Lipsey’s®, a leading national firearms distributor, donates to help WTTA further its mission to bridge the gap between mental health awareness and the firearms industry.

Las Vegas, Nev. (January 2020) – Walk The Talk America (WTTA), a non-profit organization designed to bridge the gap between the firearms industry and owners and the mental health industry, is honored to have received a generous donation of $10K from one of America’s leading firearms distributors, Lipsey’s®.

WTTA was founded and launched three years ago by industry veteran Michael Sodini after an impromptu conversation with an individual regarding how firearms companies deal with school shootings, suicides, and other gun violence. Sodini realized that there was a need to bring the firearms industry together with those working in the mental health profession to stop the cycle of blame and finger-pointing and begin a conversation leading to more understanding on both sides.

Lipsey’s was founded in 1953 as a wholesale hunting and fishing distributor. Since then, Lipsey’s has remained dedicated to providing customers with superior service and attention and today is one of the largest independently owned, single location firearms distributors in the US.

“Lipsey’s has been a partner with Walk the Talk America since its inception,” Laurie Aronson, President and CEO of Lipsey’s, commented. “Their organization is making positive strides towards closing that bridge in addressing mental health and firearms.”

“We are very thankful to have the support of large distributors like Lipsey’s join our mission,” Sodini added. “With every donation, WTTA can provide more tools and resources like training instruction, online and downloadable information for individuals, companies, and retailers. It is our goal to bring together not only the firearms industry and mental health resources, but to make it available to all firearms owners.”

For more information on how to become involved, visit WalkTheTalkAmerica.org.

Magpul Introduces PMAG D-50 Magazines for Glock and MP5

January 13th, 2021

Magpul has expanded their D50 offerings.

D50 DM

The PMAG D-50 MP is a 50 round drum magazine compatible with the Heckler & Koch MP5 and HK 94.

D50 GL9 – GLOCK

The D59 GL9 – GLOCK is optimized for double-stack 9mm GLOCK handguns.

Both models of the D50 accept up to 50 rounds of 9x19mm Parabellum ammunition and boasts many of the proven features of their existing 9mm drums, the PMAG D-50 EV9 – CZ Scorpion EVO 3.

Easily disassembled for cleaning and maintenance, the D50 incorporates a high-visibility follower and a capacity indication roller and rounds remaining window.

Offered in Black for $119.95.

www.magpul.com

Kitanica – Raider Pants in Woodland Camo

January 13th, 2021

Kitanica has added classic Woodland camouflage to their Raider Pant lineup.

Made from Woodland Camo 6.5 oz. 50/50 nylon/cotton Ripstop and Super Fabric knee reinforcements, the Raider Pant features 13 pockets.

Offered in sizes 30-46 in various lengths including up to 37″ inseam for certain waist sizes.

www.kitanica.net/RAIDER-PANTS-MULTICAM

Magpul Introduces PMAG 10/30 AR/M4 GEN M3

January 13th, 2021

Magpul introduced the PMAG 10/30 AR/M4 GEN M3 to offer 10-round capacity in a 30-round form.

Designed for users who reside in areas with magazine capacity restrictions but desire a standard 30-round magazine form, this is AR15/M4 compatible for weapons chambered in 5.56×45 NATO/.223 Remington.

They’ve added a proprietary lock plate which is permanently secured by an aluminum rivet that reduces the maximum capacity to 10 rounds. A lock plate tab that’s clearly marked for capacity is also included.

Offered in Black at $17.95.

www.magpul.com