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04 Dec 20. FTSE Russell to drop eight Chinese firms after U.S. blacklisting. Index provider FTSE Russell will delete shares of video security firm Hikvision and seven other Chinese companies from certain products after a U.S. order restricting purchase of their shares, it said on Friday.
FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo
The move shows how a recent bid by the White House to give teeth to a blacklist of Chinese companies allegedly backed by China’s military could crimp U.S. investments in the country, often held in passive products built on broad indexes.
In a statement sent by a spokesman for owner London Stock Exchange Group, FTSE Russell said it would drop shares in companies such as Hangzhou Hikvision, China Railway Construction Corp, and China Spacesat.
FTSE Russell said it acted on feedback from index subscribers and other stakeholders, and was following its policy when sanctions are imposed that restrict investments.
In the statement issued after U.S. markets closed on Friday, FTSE Russell said the deletions from its FTSE Global Equity Index Series and several others would take effect on Dec. 21.
A spokesman said its treatment of the companies remains under review in other indexes, including its FTSE China and China A products, considered China domestic indexes.
Rival index provider MSCI Inc had previously said its products would “reflect any necessary changes” depending on U.S. law. A spokeswoman did not immediately respond to questions.
FTSE Russell, which previously said it was reviewing securities, said it could drop more companies based on the findings of U.S. officials.
All eight companies to be dropped figure on a list of “Communist Chinese Military Companies” compiled by the Pentagon.
They include China Communications Construction Co Ltd, China Nuclear Engineering & Construction Corp Ltd, CRRC Corp Ltd, Dawning Information Industry Co Ltd and China National Chemical Engineering Co Ltd.
Last month the White House published an executive order, first reported by Reuters, barring U.S. investors from buying securities of the blacklisted firms, starting in November 2021.
A Hikvision spokesman said the order’s decision to pursue it was “groundless” as the company had never participated in research and development work for military applications.
“Hikvision has tried to fully cooperate with the U.S. government and transparently answer policymakers’ questions,” the spokesman said in a statement.
“We have tried to correct misunderstandings about the company and our business. We will continue to try to do so.”
China Railway Construction Corp said it was not able to immediately respond to requests for comment. The other six companies could not be reached outside business hours in China on Saturday.
China’s top chipmaker SMIC and oil giant CNOOC. were among four more companies the Pentagon added to its list of barred firms this week.
FTSE Russell spokesman Tim Benedict said the company was aware of those additions, adding, “We will evaluate those in due course.” (Source: Reuters)
03 Dec 20. MIND Technology, Inc. Reports Fiscal 2021 Third Quarter Results. MIND Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: MIND) (“MIND” or the “Company”) today announced financial results for its fiscal 2021 third quarter ending October 31, 2020.
Revenues from continuing operations for the third quarter of fiscal 2021 were $6.5m compared to $5.1m in the second quarter of fiscal 2021 and $8.2m in the third quarter of fiscal 2020. The sequential improvement was primarily due to an increase in activity and the completion of SeaLink towed streamer orders. The loss from continuing operations for the third quarter of fiscal 2021 was approximately $2.4m compared to a loss of $1.3m in the third quarter of fiscal 2020. The Company reported a net loss per share from continuing operations of $(0.24) in the third quarter of fiscal 2021 compared to a loss per share of $(0.15) in the third quarter of fiscal 2020.
Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations for the third quarter of fiscal 2021 was a loss of $1.5m compared to a loss of $423,000 in the third quarter of fiscal 2020. Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations, which is a non-GAAP measure, is defined and reconciled to reported net loss from continuing operations and cash provided by operating activities in the accompanying financial tables. These are the most directly comparable financial measures calculated and presented in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles. Backlog as of October 31, 2020 was approximately $8.2m compared to $7.6m at July 31, 2020 and $8.9m at January 31, 2020. The loss from discontinued operations in the third quarter of fiscal 2021 was approximately $1.2m compared to the loss from discontinued operations of $709,000 in the third quarter of fiscal 2020.
As has been previously disclosed, the Company is exiting the land leasing business as part of its recently completed reincorporation and rebranding process. Accordingly, the Equipment Leasing segment has been treated as a discontinued operation, and the associated results are excluded from the Company’s results from continuing operations for all periods presented. Assets and liabilities associated with the Equipment Leasing segment have been reclassified as “held for sale” in the accompanying consolidated condensed balance sheet.
Rob Capps, MIND’s Co-Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Our third quarter results for fiscal 2021 came in somewhat ahead of expectations despite the negative impact that COVID-19 restrictions have had on the global marine industry. Revenues rose almost 29% sequentially, benefiting from an uptick in order activity for our seismic exploration products.
“Certain market trends in the marine seismic industry are expected to drive higher demand for our products and core technologies in both the near and long term. For instance, we are seeing a growing use of un-manned marine vehicles in the commercial and military sector, increasing demand for higher resolution underwater sonar images, and seeking solutions for both anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and maritime security applications using commercially developed technologies. In response to these trends, we have established certain strategic initiatives that will allow us to address market needs, such as developing sensor packages for un-manned vehicles, partnering with a European contractor to jointly upgrade next-generation sonar systems, and utilizing proven passive array technology within ASW and maritime security applications. In total, we estimate that our serviceable market, that is the markets that we can address with current and planned products, is approximately $1.3 billion per year.
“We believe that these market trends will increase demand for certain sonar and seismic technologies in the marine industry, and we continue to be optimistic about the future,” continued Capps. “We remain the foremost supplier of source controller technology to the seismic exploration market and are seeing a heightened level of customer interest in upgrading capabilities, some of which we believe are unique to our products. Recent order activity for our source controller products is, we believe, an indication of this interest. We intend to build on our strengths and add innovative new technologies to our portfolio while leveraging our existing technologies into novel new solutions that can economically address the needs of the global marine marketplace.
“At the end of October, our backlog was up by about 8% from the end of the previous quarter, which gives us high confidence in a positive trend for near-term order flow in the fourth quarter and into the fiscal 2022 year. The Company is well-positioned to capture growth opportunities as they develop, and our balance sheet gives us the financial flexibility to execute on our strategy to become the leading provider of innovative marine technology and products,” concluded Capps. (Source: PR Newswire)
03 Dec 20. Luna Innovations Acquires OptaSense. Combination transforms Luna into a global fiber optic leader; creates a distributed fiber sensing powerhouse
* Acquisition combines two global leaders in fiber optic sensing solutions
* OptaSense’s market-leading position in distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) combined with Luna’s suite of sensing products forms the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio
* OptaSense’s diverse, blue-chip customer base aligns well with Luna’s; presents a significant opportunity for expansion of offerings into both customer groups
* Transformative acquisition allows Luna to cost-effectively establish a strong international presence and adds to its U.S. leadership position
* OptaSense allows for expansion into high-growth markets such as security and perimeter detection, smart infrastructure monitoring and oil and gas; expected to accelerate Luna’s data services and IOT strategy
* Acquisition expected to be accretive in 2021
Luna Innovations Incorporated (NASDAQ: LUNA), a global leader in advanced optical technology, today announced it has acquired OptaSense Holdings, Ltd. (“OptaSense”), a QinetiQ company (LON: QQ), for £29m in cash. OptaSense is a recognized market leader in fiber optic distributed monitoring solutions for pipelines, oilfield services, security, highways and railways, as well as power and utilities monitoring systems. The combination is expected to create the world’s largest fiber optic sensing company.
“The acquisition of OptaSense marks an incredibly important milestone in Luna’s history and will further support our growth trajectory,” said Scott Graeff, President and Chief Executive Officer of Luna. “With the combination of Luna and OptaSense, we are bringing together businesses with strong adjacencies and a large, combined opportunity. This transaction allows Luna to acquire a leader in fiber optic sensing solutions and distributed acoustic sensing systems of a global size and scale that will truly be transformative to our company. In addition, OptaSense’s success has been driven by a world class, industry-leading technology base and a very talented team of employees. We are very excited about welcoming them to the Luna team.”
The acquisition provides Luna with important distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) intellectual property and products, which strongly complement Luna’s existing portfolio, and provides algorithm-development expertise, critical for AI and machine learning. OptaSense’s research and development talent and highly skilled salesforce, combined with more than 150 active and pending patents, will also enhance Luna’s existing experienced team and broaden its intellectual property portfolio.
Steve Wadey, QinetiQ Chief Executive Officer, said “We are delighted to announce the sale of OptaSense to Luna, who will provide greater synergies and relevant market access to enable and accelerate their future growth.”
OptaSense will become a fully owned subsidiary of Luna Innovations Incorporated, while continuing to operate under its existing brand for the foreseeable future, and OptaSense employees will remain within the company, with offices in the United Kingdom, Dubai, the United States and Canada.
- Riley Securities served as financial advisor and Cooley LLP served as legal advisor to Luna.
Compelling Strategic Benefits
Luna expects that this transformative acquisition will:
* Provide Luna with important Distributed Acoustic Sensing (“DAS”) intellectual property, products and expertise. DAS strongly complements Luna’s existing offerings, and provides algorithm development expertise, critical for AI and machine learning.
* Bring a diverse, blue-chip customer base with limited crossover with Luna’s customer base. This represents a significant opportunity for expansion into both customer groups.
* Enhance Luna’s existing sales team and broad intellectual property portfolio through its R&D expertise and highly skilled salesforce, combined with more than 150 patents active and pending.
* Allow Luna to cost-effectively establish a strong operational presence internationally, building upon its already strong international customer base and sales capability.
* Rapidly generate expansion opportunities into high-growth markets such as security and perimeter detection, smart infrastructure monitoring and oil and gas,
* Realize efficiencies and leverage the combination of OptaSense and Luna to grow rapidly Luna’s operations, customer base, offerings, and financial profile.
Transaction Terms and Financing
Luna is acquiring OptaSense for £29m, which required approximately $40 m in cash. The transaction was funded using roughly $20m of Luna’s existing cash and $20 m in debt (the source for which is discussed in a separate press release issued this morning).
2020 Full-Year Outlook
Luna is reaffirming its full-year 2020 guidance:
* Total revenues of $81m to $83m
* Adjusted EBITDA of $10m to $12m
The company expects to provide an additional outlook as well as additional qualitative detail on its fourth quarter and year-end 2020 earnings call, the date for which will be announced early next year.(Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
03 Dec 20. SAIC Announces Third Quarter of Fiscal Year 2021 Results.
Revenues: $1.8bn; 12% total revenue growth, 0.7% contraction excluding acquired revenues
Diluted earnings per share: $1.02; Adjusted diluted earnings per share(1): $1.62
Adjusted EBITDA(1) as a % of revenues: 9.0%
Cash flows provided by operating activities: $231 m, $502m year to date (excluding sale of receivables)
Net bookings of $5.0 bn equating to a record book to bill of 2.7, $11.2bn year to date, book to bill of 2.1
Science Applications International Corporation (NYSE: SAIC), a premier Fortune 500® technology integrator driving our nation’s digital transformation across the defense, space, civilian, and intelligence markets, today announced results for the third quarter ended October 30, 2020.
“SAIC’s third quarter results reflect strong financial performance and momentum with the second straight quarter of highest book-to-bill and backlog in our seven-year history,” said SAIC CEO Nazzic Keene. “We have also taken strategic, organizational, and leadership steps recently that are foundational to the long-term success of SAIC. We are making great progress in the execution of our strategy and are moving forward.”.
COVID-19: Third Quarter Impact
We estimate the third quarter program impact from the COVID-19 pandemic to be approximately $60 m of revenue and $9 m of adjusted EBITDA(1). These impacts were primarily driven by reduced volume in our supply chain business, lower FAA training service revenues, and uncertain profit recovery on ready-state labor. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, SAIC has operated as an essential business, continuing to operate in a resilient market and business model.
Revenues for the quarter increased $188m, or 11.5%, compared to the prior year quarter due to the acquisition of Unisys Federal, revenue on new contracts primarily supporting the U.S. Air Force, and increased volume on existing programs, partially offset by the impacts of COVID-19 and completion of contracts. Adjusting for the impact of acquired revenues, revenues contracted 0.7% primarily due to the impacts of COVID-19.
Operating income as a percentage of revenues of 6.1%, increased from 5.8% in the comparable prior year period due to the acquisition of Unisys Federal, lower acquisition and integration costs, and lower indirect costs, partially offset by increased intangible asset amortization and the impacts of COVID-19.
Net income attributable to common stockholders for the quarter increased $5 m as compared to the same period in the prior year primarily due to increased operating income ($12 m, net of tax), partially offset by higher interest expense.
Adjusted EBITDA(1) as a percentage of revenues for the quarter increased to 9.0% of revenues from 8.3% of revenues in the prior year quarter driven by the acquisition of Unisys Federal and lower indirect costs, partially offset by the impacts of COVID-19.
Diluted earnings per share for the quarter was $1.02 compared to $0.94 in the prior year quarter. Adjusted diluted earnings per share(1) for the quarter was $1.62 compared to $1.39 in the prior year quarter. The weighted-average diluted shares outstanding during the quarter increased to 58.7 m from 58.3 m during the prior year quarter.
Cash Generation and Capital Deployment
Cash flows provided by operating activities for the third quarter were $231m, an increase of $115 m compared to the same period in the prior year. The improvement is primarily due to cash provided from deferred payroll tax payments as provided for in the CARES Act, one less payroll week for legacy Engility operations, the timing of collections and lower inventory balance, partially offset by higher cash interest payments.
During the quarter, SAIC deployed $239m of capital, consisting of $21m in cash dividends, $18 m of mandatory debt repayment, and $200 m of voluntary debt repayment. There were no share repurchases in the third quarter.
Quarterly Dividend Declared
Subsequent to the end of the quarter, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.37 per share of the Company’s common stock payable on January 29, 2021 to stockholders of record on January 15, 2021. SAIC intends to continue paying dividends on a quarterly basis, although the declaration of any future dividends will be determined by the Board of Directors each quarter and will depend on earnings, financial condition, capital requirements and other factors.
(1)Non-GAAP measure, see Schedule 5 for information about this measure.
Backlog and Contract Awards
Net bookings for the quarter were approximately $5.0bn, which reflects a book-to-bill ratio of 2.7. SAIC has produced a book to bill of 2.1 on a year-to-date basis and 2.0 for the trailing twelve months. SAIC’s estimated backlog of signed business orders at the end of the quarter was approximately $22.6bn. Of the total backlog amount, approximately $3.3bn was funded.
SAIC was awarded the following contracts during the quarter:
Notable New Business Awards:
U.S. General Services Administration Integrated Multi-Domain Command and Control (IMDC2) Technical Support: SAIC was awarded an $878m task order by the U.S. General Services Administration. Under the IMDC2 Technical Support task order, SAIC will provide professional services to advance technology for Multi-Domain Command and Control capabilities, which includes cybersecurity, digital engineering, model-based systems engineering, integrated training, research and development, prototyping, and IT modernization.
U.S. Army National Guard (ARNG) G-2 Military Intelligence Services and Support: SAIC was awarded a new $750m task order to provide mission engineering, integration, and enterprise solutions to support the ARNG Intelligence and Security (G-2) Directorate. Under the five-year Military Intelligence (MI) Services and Support task order, SAIC will provide enterprise solutions and services that enhance MI capabilities, enabling soldiers and strategic partners to increase readiness and meet mission requirements through efficient collaboration and integration.
U.S. Air Force Modeling and Simulation Support Services (AFMS3): SAIC won the U.S. Air Force Modeling and Simulation Support Services (AFMS3) 2.0 contract to implement, integrate, and develop modeling and simulation, training, and analysis standards for the Air Force, Department of Defense, and other organizations. The single-award contract has a ceiling value of $737 m with a one-year base period of performance and four one-year options.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Production and Conservation BPA: SAIC was awarded a position on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) blanket purchase agreement (BPA) to compete for task orders to provide IT support services for the development, modernization, enhancement, and maintenance of information systems, software applications, web services, and databases. SAIC was one of five large business awardees selected to provide these services under the BPA worth an estimated ceiling value of $620 m over a five-year period of performance.
Notable Recompete Awards:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Targeting & Analysis Systems Program Directorate (TASPD): SAIC was awarded a task order worth up to $973 m by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to operate, maintain, and enhance CBP’s cornerstone system for identifying travelers and cargo that present a potential security threat to the country. The award for CBP’s Targeting and Analysis Systems Program Directorate (TASPD) Information Technology Operations and Maintenance, Upgrades, Updates, Modifications and Enhancements Services task order includes transition, a one-year base period of performance, four one-year option periods, and a six-month optional extension of services.
U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command: SAIC was awarded a $185 m single-award, cost-plus fixed-fee task order to support the Decision Support Division for the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC), in the areas of space, space control, high altitude, air and missile defense, and associated cyberspace operations. Under the task order, SAIC will continue to provide system utility analysis and combat development in support of the warfighter with analysis, execution experiments, exercises and war games, and modeling and simulation development and integration support. The task order has a one-year base period of performance and one one-year option.
U.S. Navy Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Engineering and Technical Services: SAIC was awarded a task order worth approximately $78 m to provide support services for mobility platform integration for the Expeditionary Department at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) in Crane, Indiana. Under the task order, SAIC will assist NSWC Crane in overcoming challenges associated with engineering and development of integration efforts across multiple types of platforms for implementation of sensors, weapons, communications, and diagnostic systems for the Maneuver, Surveillance, and Engagement Division. The task order has a one-year base period of performance and four one-year options.
Fiscal Year 2021 Guidance
As a result of the Company’s year-to-date performance and future expectations, to include expected impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company is updating previously provided fiscal year 2021 guidance. The updated guidance assumes the potential program impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to be $250 m in revenue and $35 m in adjusted EBITDA, unchanged from previous estimates. The provided guidance also assumes continued program impact from COVID-19 through the end of fiscal year 2021 (January 29, 2021) and assumes Section 3610 of the CARES Act is extended through that period. The table below summarizes fiscal year 2021 guidance and represents our views as of December 3, 2020. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
04 Dec 20. SAIC (SAIC)Accelerating Organic Growth in FY22 is in the Bookings, BUY, $94.68 PT: $110.00.
FQ3:21 (Oct. Q) results highlighted constrained organic growth (-1%), given the impact from COVID (+3% ex-COVID). However, organic growth should improve in FY22 with our estimate of a 5% contribution from new/ramping business and a partial reversal of COVID (2%) headwinds. Strong bookings (2.7X B2B in the Q) point to acceleration in FY22. However, investors remain skeptical as current valuation implies a 9.5% FCF yield, or a 35% discount to peers.
FQ3 Recap – Revenue Slight Miss, Margins Better. FQ3:21 (Oct) Adj. EPS of $1.62 beat our est./cons. of $1.52/$1.53. GAAP EPS was $1.02, including $0.60 of integration/amortization expense. Revs grew 12% y-o-y, but were 1% below our expectations (down 0.7% organic). Ex $60m revenue impact from COVID, sales were up 3% organically.
FY21 EPS Guidance of $5.95-$6.05 Up 1% at Mdpt. (Cons. of $6.10), Lowered High End of Rev Guide. Mgmt. expects FY21 sales of $7.1-7.15BB, down slightly from $7.1-7.2BB prior, incorporating a COVID impact of $250m in sales (3% of FY21E), primarily within the supply chain and intel business. The COVID impact YTD has totaled $159m of sales. Guidance implies a 14-18% growth rate in Q4 to exit the year, or 3% organic including a $60m COVID impact (7% ex-COVID)
Ramping Contracts Support FY22 Organic Growth of 7%. SAIC was awarded four large task orders in Oct. including the $878m ceiling IMDC2, the $737m AF Modeling and Simulation Support contract, and the $750m Army National Guard Intelligence and Security (G-2) contract. Each has a 5-yr period and contribute ~$100m to annual sales once fully ramped. We have factored in a $60m contribution to FY22 sales to capture slower ramp/CR delays. Lastly, the 5-yr $973m CBP TASPD task order includes both recompete and new work w/ ~$30m annual step up from increased scope. New contracts add a combined 3-pts to FY22 coupled with 2 pts from ramping contracts including EDIS (0.3-pts), Cloud One (0.4-pts), FSG-80 (0.5-pts) and TADS (1-pt). The absence of the COVID headwind to the supply chain ($120m) and FAA Controller ($50m) adds 2-pts. Overall, we est. 7% organic growth in FY22E vs. 1% in FY21E (Ex. 2).
Replenishing the Pipeline. SAIC captured a B2B of 2.7X in Q3. Despite strong bookings, the pipeline advanced 7% sequentially to $22.1BB up from $20.6BB in FQ2, including 80% new business. If we assume a 10% win rate and 5-yr contract duration, this represents ~$350m of incremental sales or 5 pts of growth off of the $7.15BB base in FY21.
Margin Opportunity. FQ3 EBITDA was $164m w/ margins of 9.0% up 70 bps y-o-y and 50 bps above our est; this included a $9m negative COVID impact (20 bps), more than offset by Unisys Federal (~40bps) and lower indirect costs (~50 bps) (Ex. 5). EBITDA margins of 8.7% in FY21 set a baseline to expand to 9.2% in FY22.
FCF Momentum but Only Embedding MSD Core Business Growth. On our ests on FY22 SAIC trades at a 9.5% FCF yield and 7.2% on FCF to EV (34% discount to peers). We forecast FCF of $518m and $521m in FY21 and FY22, respectively. FY21 FCF guidance was raised to >=$515m, up $15m from prior or $45MM implied in FQ4. (Source: Jefferies)
03 Dec 20. Cohort plc, the independent technology group, announced that the acquisition of Wärtsilä ELAC Nautik GmbH has now completed. German government approval for the transaction was granted in November and the other closing conditions were subsequently met. The acquisition, which has a headline price of €11.25m, is being funded from existing cash resources and the Group’s banking facilities. Wärtsilä ELAC Nautik GmbH will be renamed ELAC SONAR GmbH (“ELAC SONAR”). A market leader in sonar systems technology for naval surface ships and submarines, ELAC SONAR will join the Group as Cohort’s sixth standalone subsidiary. The acquisition will enhance Cohort’s maritime defence system offering, with market leading technology in surface ship and submarine sonars, underwater communication systems and echo sounders. In addition:
*ELAC SONAR shares highly complementary expertise, capabilities and technologies with Cohort Subsidiary SEA, providing a significant cross-selling opportunity.
*ELAC SONAR is focused on defence export markets, with naval markets accounting for 80-90% of revenues, and strong penetration in South East Asia and Europe. The acquisition also adds Germany as a domestic market for the Group.
Background to the acquisition
Founded in 1926, ELAC SONAR is headquartered in Kiel, Germany, employing around 130 permanent staff. It has a locally based, highly experienced operational management team, who will remain in place following the acquisition.
ELAC SONAR has a global customer base, predominantly in Asia and Europe, but with a growing focus in North and South America. Its customers include navies, shipyards, integrators and resellers, with naval markets accounting for 80-90% of revenues whilst 10-20% of revenues are generated from commercial and dual use markets. ELAC SONAR has products currently in operation on various submarines and surface ships, including for the German, Indonesian, Singaporean, Taiwanese, Dutch and Portuguese navies.
ELAC SONAR’s offer comprises highly customised and innovative solutions for its customers, with a business model that focuses on open architecture products that are easy to upgrade and customise. Most supply contracts include services covering installation, consultancy, system integration, acceptance tests, updates, training and spare parts.
Financial information on ELAC
In its financial year ended 31 December 2019, Wärtsilä ELAC Nautik generated revenues of €21.4m and EBIT of €1.8m. The order back log as at 31 October 2020 stood at €26.0m, of which c.€12m was for delivery during calendar year 2021 with some long-term orders stretching out to 2025. As at 31 December 2019, Wärtsilä ELAC Nautik had total assets of €28.6m. Wärtsilä ELAC Nautik operates a small defined benefit pension scheme, which is now closed to new members, but which may require modest funding by Cohort in coming years. As at 31 December 2019, it had a deficit as calculated under IFRS of €8.4m.
Based on the order book, prospects and delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a revenue of €20.7m and an EBIT of €1.0m is expected for the year ending 31 December 2020. The acquisition is expected to be earnings enhancing for the Group’s financial year commencing 1 May 2021, reinforced by ELAC SONAR’s order book out to 2025 and its encouraging order pipeline.
Andrew Thomis, Chief Executive Officer of Cohort, said:, “We are delighted to welcome ELAC SONAR to the Group. This is a significant step for Cohort, adding a sixth standalone business to our portfolio. ELAC SONAR brings a leading position in the attractive and growing submarine and surface sonar markets, complementing our existing capabilities and giving the Group an exceptionally wide and capable offering in this important sector.”
02 Dec 20. FLIR Systems Acquires Altavian, Inc.. FLIR Systems, Inc. announced that it has acquired Altavian, Inc., a privately-held manufacturer of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) for defense and public safety customers. Altavian’s airframes integrate multiple sensors, including FLIR thermal technology, to provide users with decision support and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability.
Based in Gainesville, Florida and founded in 2011, Altavian designs and manufacturers Group 1 UAS solutions for long or short range operations. With both quadcopter and fixed-wing UAS designs, Altavian’s expertise includes aeronautics, avionics, and software, and its solutions are engineered around an open system architecture aligned to the needs of government and defense customers. Altavian is one of five drone manufacturers approved by the U.S. Department of Defense under the Blue sUAS program to sell to the U.S. military and federal agencies.
“Altavian’s proven engineering expertise and assets will allow us to offer customers the most comprehensive solution portfolio of any American sUAS provider,”
said Roger Wells, General Manager of the Unmanned Systems and Integrated Solutions business of FLIR Systems’ Defense Technologies Segment, under which Altavian will be integrated.
“With the addition of both a low-cost, rapidly deployable quadcopter and a longer range fixed-wing UAS, FLIR is strengthening its already impressive drone lineup, including our Black Hornet and SkyRaider platforms used extensively by militaries around the globe. We’re excited about the multiple new franchise opportunities FLIR will be able to pursue for defense, public safety, and industrial markets worldwide.” (Source: UAS VISION)
02 Dec 20. Avon Rubber banking on further US armour demand. Statutory earnings took a tumble, but the protective gear specialist saw its adjusted operating profit surge rise by over a third in the year to 30 September to £30m.
* Statutory earnings were weighed down by exceptional charges, but 3M’s protective armour business propelled adjusted operating profit up by over a third.
* Following the $130m Team Wendy acquisition, the group is still in net cash and has increased its dividend.
Even a global pandemic has been unable to halt Avon Rubber’s (AVON) march forward. The protective equipment specialist saw its adjusted operating profit surge by over a third in the year to 30 September, to £30m, boosted by the addition of 3M’s (US:MMM) ballistic helmets and armour business in January. On a statutory basis, operating profit did drop by two-fifths to £5.9m, weighed down by exceptional charges relating to acquisitions.
Having sold its dairy equipment business for £179m in September, the group is now free of the vagaries of animal feed and milk prices. The proceeds left it sitting on £93m of net cash at the end of September – up from £35m a year earlier – although this has come down following the $130m (£97m) purchase of helmet specialist Team Wendy last month. Broker Peel Hunt anticipates Team Wendy will help lift adjusted operating profit to £49m in 2021.
There will also be the benefit of numerous contract wins over the past year, many of which are with its largest military customer, the US Department of Defense (DoD). This includes an exclusive three-year agreement worth up to $333m to supply the DoD with enhanced small arms protective body armour.
The group’s shares dipped by around 7 per cent following these numbers – likely in reaction to the statutory earnings decline – although they have still more than doubled in value since the start of the year. While a forward price/earnings ratio of 33 is rather pricey, investors are being offered healthy margins, a high return on capital employed and an increased dividend. The UK’s recent defence spending boost also means the post-Covid outlook for global military budgets may be better than feared. Buy. (Source: Investors Chronicle)
01 Dec 20. MBA Consulting Services, Inc. (MBA CSi) Launches Four Centers of Excellence. MBA CSi Centers of Excellence (CoE) will strengthen world-class performance and continuous innovation to tackle our client’s toughest challenges. As federal agency missions become increasingly complex, teams often work in silos, not sharing their knowledge, despite various skills’ parallel evolution. MBA CSi’s CoEs, coupled with our engagement model, will identify these areas and bring together internal resources to be shared among programs. This brings more collaboration and agency efficiencies, and creates a more consistent customer experience, benefiting all stakeholders. Sean Delaney, Senior Vice President of Strategy, said, “Our CoEs will continue to drive innovations, improvements, and promote transparency and shared results. They are a powerful way to align business and mission goals rather than individual departmental metrics.”
“Because our CoEs are designed to drive innovation and improvement, they also provide the spark to inspire our experts with a collaborative spirit to measure, experiment, and push each other forward,” said Mark Colturi, Chief Operating Officer. Lou Coleman, Founder, and CEO said, “Our CoEs are separate from the business units they serve and provide a necessary distinction designed to assure supreme agility in deploying the CoE across an organization. We’re delighted Mr. Delaney will oversee our CoEs.”
ABOUT MBA CONSULTING SERVICES, INC.
MBA Consulting Services, Inc. (MBA) is a leading government solutions provider. We create innovative and transformative solutions that help government agencies optimize their technology systems, data, and mobility. We share a passion for creating real value and positive working relationships and have become a trusted and impartial partner to our civilian, defense, and intelligence agency clients. We draw on our proven leadership expertise, diverse experience working with emerging technologies and deliver the most effective and efficient solutions. MBA CSi was founded in 1999 and is a privately held company headquartered in Chantilly, VA. We have nearly 400 diverse and outstanding people in 40 U.S. locations. (Source: PR Newswire)
30 Nov 20. DPW Holdings’ Gresham Worldwide Global Defense Business Acquires Relec Electronics Ltd in the UK. DPW Holdings, Inc. (NYSE American: DPW) a diversified holding company (“DPW,” or the “Company”) announced that its global defense business, Gresham Worldwide, Inc. (“Gresham Worldwide”), has acquired Relec Electronics Ltd. (“Relec”), based in England. The transaction was structured as a stock purchase under which Gresham Worldwide paid approximately $4,000,000 with additional contingent cash payments up to approximately $665,000 based on Relec’s future financial performance. The transaction closed today.
Relec, established in 1978, is an English supplier of power conversion and display technology products in the industrial, rail transportation and emerging electronic markets. Gresham Worldwide’s English subsidiary, Gresham Power Electronics, has been designing and manufacturing highly reliable power electronics for naval and industrial markets for more than fifty years. The acquisition of Relec enhances Gresham Worldwide’s presence in the U.K. and Europe and considerably broadens its product portfolio, including high-quality power conversion and display product offerings. This strategic business combination provides Relec opportunities to offer value-added services to its blue-chip customer base, while enabling Gresham Power Electronics to expand into rail and other industrial markets.
The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive and includes approximately $1.2m of net tangible assets. Relec recorded revenue of approximately $7m and, excluding one-time discretionary items, adjusted pretax income of approximately $1.1mi for its fiscal year ended February 29, 2020. Like many other companies across the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic has put downward pressure on Relec’s financial results since March 2020, which resulted in an approximate 20% decrease in revenue for the six months ended August 31, 2020. However, based upon a strong backlog of orders and Relec’s exceptional customer relationships, the Company believes the recent decrease in revenue will be short-lived and that, beginning in 2021, Relec will be well positioned for solid, long-term financial performance.
Gresham Power Electronics and Relec will continue to operate as stand-alone businesses, though they have established a joint management committee. Peter Lappin, Managing Director and the Relec management team will remain as employees of Relec at least throughout the earnout period.
Jonathan Read, Gresham Worldwide’s CEO, stated, “This combination provides a great opportunity for Relec and Gresham Worldwide to benefit from the strengths of each organization. We are thrilled that Peter Lappin and the Relec team will bring to Gresham Worldwide the technical expertise, customer focus, quality products and commitment to outstanding service that enabled them build such a successful business.”
“Teaming these operations significantly increases the Gresham Worldwide footprint the UK and Europe while broadening its technology portfolio with high-quality power conversion and display product offerings,” said Karen Jay, Managing Director at Gresham Power Electronics Ltd “The combination of Relec with Gresham Power provides scale, technical capabilities, and technology solution offerings to drive growth in the UK and Europe.”
Peter Lappin said, “Everyone at Relec is looking forward to becoming part of the Gresham Worldwide group. Joining forces will provide Relec with additional resources to offer more value-added services to our blue-chip customer base while increasing sales coverage and market reach for our innovative supply chain partners. Working with other Gresham Worldwide companies will also create opportunities for Relec to increase sales of its innovative power and display technology solutions into defense, marine, aerospace and telecommunications markets.”
“We are very excited about the acquisition of Relec Electronics as it provides new top-line revenue, a talented team and clear synergies with Gresham Worldwide,” said Milton “Todd” Ault, III, the Company’s CEO and Chairman.
For more information on DPW and its subsidiaries, the Company recommends that stockholders, investors and any other interested parties read the Company’s public filings and press releases available under the Investor Relations section at www.DPWHoldings.com or available at www.sec.gov.
About DPW Holdings, Inc.
DPW Holdings, Inc. is a diversified holding company pursuing growth by acquiring undervalued businesses and disruptive technologies with a global impact. Through its wholly and majority-owned subsidiaries and strategic investments, the Company provides mission-critical products that support a diverse range of industries, including defense/aerospace, industrial, telecommunications, medical, and textiles. In addition, the Company extends credit to select entrepreneurial businesses through a licensed lending subsidiary. DPW’s headquarters are located at 201 Shipyard Way, Suite E, Newport Beach, CA 92663; www.DPWHoldings.com.
About Gresham Worldwide
Gresham Worldwide, Inc. is a provider of high-quality, ultra-reliable bespoke technology solutions for mission-critical applications in the defense, medical and telecommunications verticals. The four component companies under the leadership of CEO, Jonathan Read, are Microphase Corporation, Enertec Systems 2001 Ltd., Gresham Power Electronics Ltd. and Relec Electronics Ltd. Each has decades of experience serving global defense and technology markets. Gresham Worldwide operates with a global footprint with headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, an office in Washington D.C. and design and operations centers in Shelton, Connecticut, Salisbury, U.K., Wareham, U.K. and Karmiel, Israel.
Relec Electronics Ltd was established in 1978 with the aim of providing specialist power conversion and display products to support professionals in the electronics industry. Relec’s aerospace background means it consistently and meticulously delivers high performance and robust power and display solutions. Relec exerts its utmost effort to customize a product or a feature to achieve optimum performance and service delivery. Relec continues to be guided by this philosophy and currently operates in specific fields, specializing in AC-DC Power Supplies, DC-DC Converters, Displays and EMC Filters. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
30 Nov 20. Aerodyne Invests in Australian Drone Inspection Company. Aerodyne Group, a Malaysia-headquartered international DT3 (Drone Tech, Data Tech, and Digital Transformation) solutions provider has signed an agreement to acquire a principal stake in Australia-based drone surveying and advanced asset inspection company, Sensorem Pty Ltd.
This investment is expected to generate meaningful upside for Sensorem, Aerodyne, and clients spanning the Australian minerals, energy, industrial and agricultural sectors. Sensorem’s existing management team, led by Managing Director, Ed Boxall, will continue to lead the company and remain as shareholders in the business.
Headquartered in Perth, Western Australia, Sensorem is a remote sensing specialist, offering asset inspection and aerial surveying services that utilize the latest innovations in drone and sensor technology. Sensorem caters to multiple sectors including government and local authorities, construction, utility companies, research and development agencies, as well as a specific focus on mining and agriculture sectors.
Sensorem will provide Aerodyne Group’s smart drone solutions and innovative data analytics technologies to businesses across industries in Australia. This includes the DT3 company’s AI-powered, end-to-end cloud-based asset management solution “vertikaliti”.
“Aerodyne Group is excited to join forces with Sensorem, which has a strong foundation in key pillars of the Australian economy. We believe there is immense opportunity ahead for our ‘vertikaliti’ solution suite in the Australian market and we look forward to working with Ed and his team to super-charge the next stage of growth,”
said Aerodyne Group COO, Rossi Jaafar.
Sensorem Managing Director, Ed Boxall, expressed excitement regarding the next phase of Sensorem’s life and the obvious appeal of Aerodyne Group as a strategic partner to help realise the potential of Sensorem’s in-house technologies and extensive client network located across the massive Australian market.
“Recent technological advancements in precision aerial surveying, asset inspection, and data analysis have helped Sensorem enjoy sustained growth in recent years. The next phase of Sensorem’s journey will no doubt benefit from this partnership with the global leader in the field of drone based enterprise solutions. This will allow us to leverage Aerodyne’s global footprint and economies of scale, ensuring that Sensorem continues to offer an innovative and differentiated value proposition for our clients,” said Boxall. (Source: UAS VISION)
24 Nov 20. Telesat + Loral Space & Communications To Merge. The complications around any merger were made especially challenging by joint cross-holdings between Loral and Telesat, and then further compounded by their major shareholder — Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments).
Those challenges have been overcome and an announcement on November 24 says that a definitive agreement with PSP and Telesat Canada (Telesat) to combine Loral and Telesat into a new Canadian public company (New Telesat). Upon closing of the transaction, the stockholders in Loral, together with PSP Investments and certain current and former management shareholders of Telesat, will beneficially own all of the equity in New Telesat in approximately the same proportion as their current, indirect ownership in Telesat.
Loral stockholders not affiliated with the funds managed by MHR Fund Management LLC (MHR Funds) will beneficially own 26.1 per cent of the economic interests in New Telesat, with the MHR Funds, PSP Investments and management shareholders of Telesat beneficially owning the remaining 36.6 per cent, 36.7 per cent and 0.7 per cent, respectively, of the economic interests in New Telesat (such percentages have been subjected to rounding adjustments).
New Telesat shares will initially be listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, and New Telesat is also considering a listing for its shares on a Canadian stock exchange. New Telesat’s governance provisions will contain special features designed to maintain majority Canadian board and voting control, said a formal statement.
Sweetening the deal considerably will be a special dividend of $1.50 a share amounting to $46.4m. This special dividend will be paid on December 17. Loral and Telesat will also make certain cash payments to PSP Investments in connection with the transaction, including a payment of $7m and a payment to adjust for the value of Loral’s non‑Telesat assets and liabilities at the time of the closing of the transaction.
Now that this deal is done, it is expected that ‘New Telesat’ will speedily announce who is to build the company’s proposed fleet of LEO satellites.
There are a few conditions attached to the deal. The parties said, “In connection with the transaction, the Loral Board of Directors has adopted a shareholder rights plan that would be triggered if a party (other than the MHR Funds) acquires or announces the intention to acquire shares of Loral voting common stock such that after giving effect to the acquisition the party would own more than 15 percent of the Unaffiliated Shares, or for those Loral stockholders (other than the MHR Funds) already over such 15 per cent threshold, if such stockholder increases its ownership of such Unaffiliated Shares by 0.001 per cent or more. The shareholder rights plan will expire immediately upon the first to occur of receipt of the Majority of the Unaffiliated Vote, termination of the definitive transaction agreement and November 23, 2021. The MHR Funds have also entered into a separate standstill agreement prohibiting the MHR Funds and their affiliates from acquiring more than an additional 6 percent of the outstanding shares of Loral voting common stock prior to the conclusion of the stockholder meeting.”
Michael B. Targoff, Vice Chairman of Loral, said, “The transaction announced today reflects our long-standing efforts to maximize value for Loral stockholders. This transaction will consolidate all of the equity ownership of Telesat in the capital structure of New Telesat and will bring substantial benefits to Loral stockholders. In addition to affording Telesat the benefits of being a publicly traded Canadian company through New Telesat, Loral stockholders may elect to hold their interests directly in New Telesat, which should over time lead to improved liquidity. We are extremely pleased to have finally achieved this result.” Commenting on the declaration of the special dividend, Mr. Targoff said, “At Loral, we have now fulfilled our stated intention to distribute substantially all of our cash to stockholders except for what is needed to fund working capital and certain other liabilities.”
Dr. Mark H. Rachesky, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Loral, said, “The conclusion of this transaction represents an important milestone in our plan to deliver significant value to all Loral stockholders. Telesat is revolutionizing the provision of broadband internet connectivity worldwide by developing the most advanced constellation of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites and integrated terrestrial infrastructure ever conceived. The ownership structure of New Telesat will facilitate access to the capital markets for continued advancement of LEO, positioning New Telesat for substantial growth to further enhance shareholder value.”
Regarding the dividend declaration, Dr. Rachesky added, “The Loral Board has worked diligently over the last decade to maximize value for shareholders, first, by successfully turning around and selling our former satellite manufacturing business for over $1 bn and next by using the strong free cash flow generated at Telesat to enable Telesat to invest in its state-of-the-art satellite fleet and to pay extraordinary dividends. In addition to the significant equity interest in New Telesat that the Loral stockholders will collectively receive in the transaction, the Loral Board has delivered to stockholders cash dividends, including the dividend declared today, of over $49 per share, or an aggregate in excess of $1.5bn.” (Source: Satnews)
30 Nov 20. Nordic Unmanned Contemplates Public Listing. Nordic Unmanned AS is contemplating a private placement and listing on Euronext Growth Oslo (currently Merkur Market) in order to finance expected strong growth and international expansion.
“While the largest market for high-end drones has so far been for defence purposes, other private and public sector customers are now seeing the substantial advantages of unmanned technology: increased safety and data value combined with both reduced costs and carbon footprint. We are perfectly positioned to capitalize on this growing market, and the planned placement and listing will enable us to fully realize this potential,” said Knut Roar Wiig, CEO of Nordic Unmanned.
Contemplated private placement
Nordic Unmanned has engaged SpareBank 1 Markets and SpareBank 1 SR-Bank Markets to advise on the contemplated private placement.
The company intends to raise total proceeds of NOK 50 – 100m. The purpose is to acquire more high-end drone systems, as well as further developing our proprietary product portfolio and general company purposes.
The company intends to apply for a listing of its shares on Euronext Growth Oslo. The first day of trading is expected to be on or about the 15th of December 2020.
Nordic Unmanned is a system integrator, offering customers a complete combination of hardware, software and services, typically according to long-term contracts. The company supplies and operates its own Staaker drones, as well as high-end drones from Lockheed Martin and Schiebel.
The company had revenues of NOK 32m in 2019. During the first three quarters of 2020, revenues increased to NOK 41m. Based on a current strong order backlog and strong identifiable market prospects, the company expects substantial growth in the coming years.
SpareBank 1 Markets and SpareBank 1 SR-Bank Markets are engaged by the Nordic Unmanned as financial advisors in connection with the contemplated private placement, and SpareBank 1 Markets has been engaged as Euronext Growth advisor in connection with the contemplated listing. Advokatfirmaet Schjødt AS is acting as legal advisor. Corporate Communications AS advises on communications and investor relations. (Source: UAS VISION)
25 Nov 20. Slingshot Aerospace Garners $8m In Series A Funding. Slingshot Aerospace, Inc. has raised $8m in Series A funds for a total raised of $17.1m to date — the round is led by ATX Venture Partners, and includes additional investments from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Techstars Ventures and Okapi Venture Capital.
Angel investors that participated in the round include former CEO of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation and current Principal Consultant for Plum Run, LLC, Keith Masback; Gregory Mead and Marie-Alicia Chang, co-founders of Semetric; and Glenn Degenaars who was recognized as a Top Wealth Advisor for 2020 by Forbes.
Slingshot Aerospace is creating situational awareness technologies that provide customizable solutions to quickly navigate, analyze, and leverage data from earth and space. The funds raised will be used to further develop Slingshot Aerospace products for commercialization, enable the company to expand into new industry verticals outside of aerospace and defense, and grow the team.
Satellites, airplanes, drones, and ground-based sensors generate petabytes of data every day, but it’s impossible to quickly analyze and use the information in a meaningful way. Slingshot Aerospace is creating tools that unlock the power of data intelligence to save lives, time and money.
In less than 3 years, Slingshot Aerospace has experienced rapid growth by earning millions of dollars in revenue from early customer contracts, and is leveraging government contracts to accelerate digital transformation within defense to build the company’s intellectual property. The innovation of Slingshot Aerospace has helped the company cultivate a strong foundation of customers over the last three years including NASA, United States Air Force, BAE Systems, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and more. The company is currently working with the United States Space Force to create Slingshot Orbital Laboratory, and has partnered with the United States Air Force on two contracts to develop Slingshot Edge and another solution for the military branch’s Base of the Future initiative. Slingshot Aerospace aims to disrupt a $51.5bn market by significantly improving the value of data.
“Slingshot Aerospace is providing government and commercial customers a high-impact return on investment through its innovative situational intelligence technologies,” said Chris Shonk, Co-Founder and Partner, ATX Venture Partners. “There is no doubt Slingshot Aerospace will continue to experience high growth as the company has only scratched the surface in terms of customer acquisition and industry use across verticals.”
“Our mission is to invest in startups that are upending traditional industries with innovative technologies outside of Silicon Valley,” said David Hall, Managing Partner of Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. “Slingshot Aerospace’s innovation speaks for itself as the company has already brought in significant revenue while building its IP. We look forward to working with Slingshot Aerospace as it continues to scale operations and product development.”
“The funds we raise enable us to continue developing our innovative technology, bringing us one step closer to creating a safer and more sustainable world,” said David Godwin, Co-Founder and CEO, Slingshot Aerospace. “By providing users with the right data, at the right time, all in one place, we are giving users the tools they need to make faster, better informed decisions so they can protect and improve our way of life.” (Source: Satnews)
24 Nov 20. Relativity Space Receives $500m In Funding. Relativity Space has closed a $500m Series D equity funding round, which was led by Tiger Global Management with participation from new investors Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Baillie Gifford, ICONIQ Capital, General Catalyst, XN, Senator Investment Group, and Elad Gil.
Existing investors participating in the round include BOND, Tribe Capital, K5 Global, 3L, Playground Global, Mark Cuban, Spencer Rascoff, and Allen & Company LLC, among others. The Series D equity funding validates Relativity’s sector-leading momentum across commercial execution, technical milestones, and talent growth. The funding will enable Relativity to accelerate its planned initiatives, including its factory of the future, launch vehicle development, and 3D printing technologies as it builds toward humanity’s multi-planetary future.
Disrupting 60 years of aerospace, Relativity’s radically simplified supply chain enables the company to build its orbital rocket, Terran 1, with 100x fewer parts in less than 60 days. By fusing 3D printing, artificial intelligence, proprietary software, and autonomous robotics, Relativity’s team is creating an entirely new value chain for aerospace, starting with orbital launch.
Relativity is well on its way to launching the world’s first entirely 3D printed rocket to orbit, only the first step in a long-term vision to upgrade humanity’s industrial base on Earth and build one on Mars.
“This past year drove change in every industry, including aerospace. Throughout 2020, Relativity achieved unprecedented growth, attracted top talent, and stepped up to deliver results we could have only imagined when we started the company less than five years ago,” said Tim Ellis, Relativity’s Co-Founder and CEO. “We are on track to launch our first Terran 1 rocket to orbit next year with existing capital on our balance sheet. With this new Series D funding, we will now dramatically accelerate the development of our long-term plans and look beyond first launch.”
Tim added, “Aerospace still relies on the same fundamental toolset it did 60 years ago when rockets were first launched to the Moon and global aviation was in full swing: giant factories full of fixed tooling, with complex supply chains and hundreds of thousands to millions of individual parts assembled one at a time by hand, using hundreds of diverse manufacturing processes. What we are building at Relativity fundamentally rewrites that tech stack. At its heart, 3D printing is an automation technology, one that transforms physical complexity into software by stitching many components together. The compounding rate of improvement and iteration possible through our disruptive approach will be unlike anything seen before. If we are going to live on Mars, it is inevitable that this factory of the future must exist to build humanity’s industrial base once there. At Relativity, we look forward to furthering an iconic new technology to build the future of humanity in space, faster.”
TCI International, Inc., is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SPX Corporation. TCI provides turn-key solutions for spectrum management and monitoring, direction finding, geolocation and communications intelligence to civilian, government, military and intelligence agencies as well as antennas for communications and high-power radio broadcasting. TCI is headquartered in Fremont, California, USA. For more information, visit www.tcibr.com.