General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) is widening its tactical armored vehicles portfolio with the acquisition of Force Protection Inc. (FPI). GDLS is a leading U.S. combat vehicles manufacturer but sofar it has not established a foothold in the IED and mine resistant and armor protected (MRAP) vehicles, leaving this growing market segment to domestic and international competitors such as FPI, Oshkosh, Navistar, Thales and BAE Systems. Of all these companies, FPI offered the best synergy at the right competitive price.
General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) plans to merge Force Protection, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRPT) into its Land Systems division. GD will pay $5.52 per share of common stock, or approximately $360 million. The proposed acquisition has been approved by the board of directors of both companies.
“After careful consideration in the strategic direction of Force Protection, our board decided that a sale to General Dynamics would maximize the value for our stockholders.” said Michael Moody, chairman and chief executive officer of Force Protection, Inc., “With their armored vehicle business, General Dynamics will be able to pursue opportunities that we could not have achieved as a stand-alone company.”
FPI Has demonstrated an impressive growth on international markets, with established products like the Cougar and Buffalo and the new Ocelot, selected by the British MOD and becoming a finalist in the Australian Land 121 program. The company has also been selected among few finalists for the Canadian TAPV.
“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.
FPI based in Ladson, South Carolina has 1,100 employees, General Dynamics, based at Stirling Heights, Mi has 8400 employees.