Insights & News

BCMS advises Helmet Integrated Systems on business sale to Gentex Corporation

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  • UK military helmet manufacturer acquired by Nasdaq-listed US group

  • HISL a key supplier of F35 fighter jet program with a US subsidiary

  • HISL key clients include UK Ministry of Defence and US Air Force

Helmet Integrated SystemsHelmet Integrated Systems Ltd (HISL) has been acquired by USA-based Gentex Corporation, a global leader in integrated helmet systems for defense and security personnel. The transaction was managed for HISL by international M&A advisor BCMS. 

HISL is an established provider of protective helmets, communications equipment and respiratory systems for civil, defense, security and industrial personnel. HISL employs approximately 200 people with two UK facilities, in Letchworth Garden City and Stranraer, Scotland. Its subsidiary, Interactive Safety Products, Inc., is located in Huntsville, North Carolina. 

HISL manufactures market-leading brands, such as the Alpha helmet range and Pureflo respiratory products, as well as being a key supplier to defense and military organizations both in the UK and USA, including the UK Ministry of Defence and the US Air Force. The company was engaged as a key supplier on the Joint Strike Fighter F-35 aircraft program. 

HISL will operate as a UK subsidiary of Gentex Corporation, which is headquartered in Carbondale, Pennsylvania. Gentex Corporation and HISL will combine their world-class products, technologies, and manufacturing resources to deliver customers one of the most advanced, comprehensive lines of helmet, respiratory and communication systems in the global defense and security market. 

In a release from Gentex Corporation, the company stated immediate access to new markets and the ability to offer improved support to global customers as the key drivers for their acquisition of HISL. Both companies are privately owned, with common histories, each dating back over 90 years. 

BCMS Associate Director Hugh Ashburner, who managed the transaction, comments: “It is great to see that BCMS has successfully brought together two long-standing family businesses. Gentex competed strongly, particularly in value and cultural terms, to fight off stiff competitive interest from companies from around the world. The deal has strong merits and benefits for both companies.” 

Jan Korny, Group Managing Director of HISL, said: “BCMS provided professional expertise in representing the business profile of HISL, including products, brands, markets, financial results and forecasts in the information memorandum, and circulated it internationally generating significant global interest. BCMS then helped in selecting the preferred bidder, negotiating and managing the acquisition process to a satisfactory conclusion and delivering a fair competitive price for the business.” 

The shareholders of HISL were advised by BCMS, an international M&A consultancy with a strong track record of completions in the manufacturing sector, having completed 24 deals in the manufacturing and engineering space since 2012. For reasons of confidentiality, the value of this deal is not disclosed.

BCMS has advised on more than 30 business acquisitions in the global aerospace and defence industry, from radar and surveillance equipment to body armour and engine components.  

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Posted Jul 2014
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