General Dynamics to acquire Force Protection

Charleston Regional Business Journal
Matt Tomsic
November 15, 2011

Force Protection has agreed to be acquired by General Dynamics for about $360 million, the companies announced this morning.

General Dynamics will pay a higher price than Force Protection’s recent stock value to purchase the company. Under the terms of the agreement, General Dynamics will pay $5.52 per share of Force Protection’s common stock, about 31% higher than Friday’s closing price of $4.21.

Force Protection, the Ladson-based manufacturer of mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles, will become a part of General Dynamics Land Systems, based in Sterling Heights, Mich. The subsidiary designs and builds Abrams main battle tanks and Stryker infantry combat vehicles, according to a news release.

Each company’s board of directors has approved the proposed acquisition, and General Dynamics will start a tender offer for all outstanding shares of Force Protection.

“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,” said Michael Moody, chairman CEO of Force Protection, in a news release. “With their armored vehicle business, General Dynamics will be able to pursue opportunities that we could not have pursued as a standalone 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.”

The Ladson-based company employs about 1,100 people.

“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 the release. “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.”

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