Sponsored by TCI International Inc.
08 Apr 21. McNally Capital Announces Acquisition of Orbis Operations. McNally Capital and Nio Advisors Complete Platform Investment in Orbis Operations, a Provider of Intelligence and National Security Advisory Services.
McNally Capital (“McNally”), a leader in Direct Family Capital, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Orbis Operations (“Orbis”). Orbis is a leading provider of intelligence and national security advisory services, software engineering and cyber services, and situational awareness training to the United States government and its allies, as well as select commercial clients. McNally acquired Orbis out of McNally Capital Fund II, the firm’s committed buyout vehicle.
“Orbis has unparalleled knowledge within the intelligence community and significant national security experience, and we are excited to partner with them as they continue their growth,” said Ravi P. Shah, Principal at McNally Capital. “Our partnership with the Orbis team aligns with our internal expertise in the Aerospace & Defense industry and our investment thesis in intelligence and national security.”
McNally Capital completed this transaction in line with its model of partnering with management teams, industry experts, and family offices to create value for its portfolio companies. McNally Capital partnered with Nio Advisors, LLC, in the acquisition of Orbis.
Orbis Founder and CEO, Josh Mayne, stated, “We are very excited about our partnership with McNally Capital and Nio Advisors. McNally’s history of bringing family capital and industry expertise to founder-owned businesses, as well as their expertise in the national security and intelligence sector, made them the right partner for us. The firm, alongside Nio, will bring immense value to our next stage of growth given their strong network and connectivity to other intelligence-related portfolio companies.”
“Our decision to partner with Orbis was based on the opportunity to contribute family capital and industry expertise to the company’s long-term growth. As a founder-owned business, the investment is consistent with McNally’s strategy of partnering with founder- and management-owners. We look forward to helping further establish Orbis as a leader in the national security sector,” stated Ward McNally, Managing Partner and Founder of McNally.
McNally Capital invests capital on behalf of the McNally family, who owned and operated Rand McNally & Company, as well as family offices and other like-minded investors. McNally makes thesis-driven investments in the U.S. and looks for businesses where family capital can benefit owners and management teams. The firm targets founder- and management-owned companies and partners in their acquisitions with a bench of Industry Partners, who provide incremental industry and operating knowledge and expertise. The firm is currently investing out of a committed buyout fund.
McNally Capital is focused on combining the best of family capital values with institutional capabilities and sophistication. The firm targets lower middle market businesses with $5 to $30 million in EBITDA in the Aerospace & Defense, Industrial Products & Services, and Business Services industries.
William Blair acted as the sole financial advisor and DLA Piper acted as legal counsel to Orbis Operations. Ropes & Gray LLP served as legal counsel to McNally Capital.
About McNally Capital
McNally Capital is a family-owned private equity firm targeting thesis-driven investments in the U.S., specifically founder and management-owned companies. Formed by the McNally family, who owned and operated Rand McNally & Company, McNally Capital is dedicated to upholding a 140+ year legacy as a family-owned and operated company. We look for businesses where flexible capital can provide a benefit to owners and management teams. Our mission is to harness the financial, intellectual, and human capital of our family office and investor ecosystem to build value for our investors, management teams, and portfolio companies. For more information, please visit www.mcnallycapital.com.
About Orbis Operations
Orbis Operations is a privately held firm delivering forward-leaning solutions to the complex security challenges that face our customers, our nation and the world. Guided by deep, first-hand knowledge of the global national security environment, we provide innovative solutions that integrate our extensive expertise in intelligence, cyber services, and human behavior analysis training. For more information, please visit www.orbisoperations.com. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
07 Apr 21. Babcock International is preparing to write down the value of its assets by several hundred million pounds as the new chief executive of Britain’s second-biggest defence contractor seeks to draw a line under previous management. David Lockwood, who took the helm last year, had promised to update the market with the results of a strategic review alongside Babcock’s full-year results next month. However, an update on the company’s balance sheet and contract profitability could be made as early as the coming days, according to two people familiar with the situation. The people cautioned that the final figure for the writedown was still subject to change, but analysts have estimated that it could be as high as £700m. The exact level of the writedown could become clearer in the coming days, the people said. Babcock declined to comment on the expected writedown but pointed to its trading update in January when it warned that it could be forced to cut the expected value of contracts and future income. The company at the time said early indications suggested that “there may be negative impacts on the balance sheet and/or income statement for current and/or future years”, but refused to clarify which contracts could face revision. It had brought in an independent accounting firm to review its balance sheet, it said. The news sent its shares down 18 per cent on the day to 216p. They closed at 237p on Thursday. Babcock provides maintenance and support for the UK’s nuclear submarines at Faslane, and was a member of the consortium that built the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers. The company has been battling to shore up confidence in its performance ever since a little-known group, Boatman Capital Research, published a list of highly critical claims two years ago, including that the company faced “potentially massive exceptional costs”. Babcock has consistently rejected the claims but the allegations wiped millions of pounds off the value of its shares. Recommended LexBabcock International Group PLC Babcock: crash dive Premium Lockwood, who ran Cobham before it was acquired by private equity group Advent International, took the helm in September 2020, replacing Archie Bethel, a 16-year Babcock veteran. He has moved swiftly to make his mark on the company, launching the strategic review and bringing in a new finance director, David Mellors, also from Cobham, to succeed the retiring Franco Martinelli. Analysts said the final results of the asset revaluation and strategy review would be seen as the company distancing itself from previous management teams. Babcock is also in the process of parting ways with its longstanding auditor, PwC. The company has advised the defence group since 2002. The Financial Times revealed last month that the company had appointed Deloitte as its new external auditor, subject to shareholder approval at this year’s annual meeting. (Source: FT.com)
BATTLESPACE Comment: This comes as no surprise to BATTLESPACE. Sources told BATTLESPACE last week that Babcock had put Babcock Defence Ltd up for sale but this was denied by Babcock. Babcock grossly overpaid for DSG and now Warrior WCSP has been ditched there is little value in the rump of the business so a write-down is inevitable.
07 Apr 21. Spaced Ventures Closes Pre-Seed Round To Democratize Space Investment. Spaced Ventures officially closed their pre-seed round earlier this month as they prepare to launch the first investment platform aimed at opening access to high-quality Space investment opportunities. Democratized Space investment provides critical early-stage capital to Space startups who have few alternatives to get their businesses off the ground. A partnership that creates financial infrastructure to help fund new space companies. This early strategic round of capital also helps build out the company’s venture network, as they work towards creating the largest community of Space investors in the world. Spaced Ventures’ early investors include Morgan Brook and Helios Capital.
“We are excited to launch our platform in the coming weeks, finally giving public access to compelling investment opportunities across a variety of Space technology verticals,” said Aaron Burnett, CEO and founder of Spaced Ventures.
Renowned Space investor, CEO of Voyager Space Holdings, and Managing Partner of Morgan Brook, Dylan Taylor recognized the strategic value of Spaced Ventures and led the early pre-seed round. “We saw a unique opportunity to invest in a company that identified a gap in capital formation for Space and created innovative tools to fill it. We believe that Spaced Ventures will be a key part of the capital formation and an important partner to other institutional investors.”
“Traditional capital formation in the nascent Space industry is starting to take place but early stage funding is still difficult to secure,” said J. Brant Arseneau, founder of Spaced Ventures. “Our mission is to address this need by connecting new public capital to early stage Space companies, igniting innovation, and democratizing private investing.” The company is building out its investment operations center in collaboration with the City of Brownsville as part of its commitment to build a NewSpace ecosystem.
“Brownsville is a unique city, actively supporting early-stage Space companies by leveraging its talent, experience and location,” stated Mr. Burnett. “Our plan is to hire a team of analysts and operations specialists in the Brownsville area, to further develop and improve our investment processes. We look forward to building a new Space economy together.”
“This is just the beginning,” according to Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez. “This is exciting news for Brownsville and the NewSpace ecosystem we are building in our city. The past two years has brought significant Space related investment and interest in our community. We are thrilled to have Spaced Ventures in Brownsville and are looking forward to many more great announcements in the future. Things will only get better from here.”
“With the addition of Spaced Ventures, GBIC continues to be at the forefront of supporting the growth of different NewSpace sectors, including Fintech, which will create new tech-related jobs in Brownsville,” said John Cowen, Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation (GBIC) Chair.
© 2021 Spaced Ventures. Spaced Ventures, Inc. (“Spaced Ventures”) was founded in 2020 and is a leading early-stage Space investment network. Investing involves the risk of loss. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Investments in private companies are particularly risky and you should only consider investing if you can afford to lose your entire investment and are willing to live with the ups and downs of the industry in which you invest. (Source: PR Newswire)
07 Apr 21. MDA Ltd. Completes Initial Public Offering. MDA Ltd. (“MDA” or the “Company”), a leading provider of advanced technology and services to the burgeoning global space industry, today announced the successful closing of its previously announced initial public offering of common shares (the “Common Shares”) of the Company (the “Offering”). Pursuant to the Offering, MDA issued 28,571,500 Common Shares at a price of $14.00 per Common Share for gross proceeds to the Company of approximately $400m. The Common Shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “MDA”.
The Offering was made through a syndicate of underwriters led by BMO Capital Markets, Morgan Stanley Canada Limited and Scotiabank, as joint bookrunners, with Barclays Capital Canada Inc., RBC Dominion Securities Inc., Canaccord Genuity Corp., CIBC World Markets Inc., National Bank Financial Inc. and Stifel Nicolaus Canada Inc., as underwriters.
Goodmans LLP and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acted as legal counsel to the Company, and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP acted as legal counsel to the underwriters.
The Company has granted to the underwriters an option, exercisable, in whole or in part, at any time and from time to time for a period of 30 days after closing of the Offering, to purchase from the Company up to 4,285,725 Common Shares (representing 15% of the number of Common Shares sold in the base offering) at a price of $14.00 per Common Share, for the purpose of covering the underwriters’ over-allocation position, if any.
No securities regulatory authority has either approved or disapproved the contents of this press release. This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale or any acceptance of an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful. Copies of MDA’s final prospectus are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
The securities have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933 (the “U.S. Securities Act”), as amended, or any state securities laws, and may not be offered, sold or delivered, directly or indirectly, in the United States, except to Qualified Institutional Buyers (as defined in Rule 144A of the U.S. Securities Act). This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there by any sale of these securities, in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.
“Today marks the beginning of an important chapter for MDA. With the rapid expansion of the global space economy over the next ten years, our world-leading expertise and capabilities are well aligned with the projected high growth sectors, such as space exploration, on-orbit servicing, space-based communications and Earth observation. We have the agility of a new space company coupled with an impressive track record that makes us a partner of choice in the emerging commercial space market.” ~ Mike Greenley, Chief Executive Officer, MDA. (Source: PR Newswire)
07 Apr 21. KAI outlines expansion plans. Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has outlined plans to expand through investments over the next few years to become one of the world’s biggest aerospace firms by the end of this decade.
Senior KAI officials said in a press conference in Seoul on 4 April that the firm will invest about KRW2.2trn (USD1.9bn) in facilities, research and development (R&D), and growing new businesses over the coming five years.
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) regards its KF-X fighter aircraft as a key platform in its expansion plans over the coming decade. The aircraft is under development and is scheduled to make its first flight in 2022. (Korea Aerospace Industries)
These investments are aimed at expanding the value of KAI sales to KRW5trn by 2025 and to KRW10trn by 2030. KAI’s sales in 2020 were KRW2.83trn.
KAI’s president and CEO Ahn Hyun-ho said in comments reported by local news agencies that by 2030 about KRW3trn of targeted sales will be sourced from new businesses including urban air mobility, unmanned systems, satellites, military-aerospace electronics, and simulation and related software.
The remainder of targeted sales, he said, will be sourced from KAI’s core area of aircraft manufacturing and related services in military and commercial fixed- and rotary-wing domains. Key medium-term platforms in this regard will be KAI’s KF-X fighter aircraft, a prototype of which is expected to be rolled out in April, and its Light Armed Helicopter (LAH), both of which are under development.
KAI also plans to develop derivatives of these platforms and to invest in developing aircraft for transport and logistics applications as well as multipurpose operations including maritime patrol and reconnaissance to meet growing requirements within the Republic of Korea (RoK) Armed Forces and export markets. (Source: Jane’s)
06 Apr 21. Airbus Ventures Commends Quantum Computing Leader, IonQ, Inc., on Upcoming Public Debut. Airbus Ventures congratulates IonQ, Inc. on its prospective milestone merger with dMY Technology Group, Inc. III. With this merger, IonQ will become the world’s first publicly traded pure-play hardware and software company in the quantum computing space.
“This merger accelerates IonQ’s clearly defined and scalable roadmap,” said Peter Chapman, CEO & President of IonQ. “Airbus Ventures, a key IonQ investor, has been a guiding force in the exploration of quantum’s cross-industrial benefits. One of those industries is aerospace, in which quantum may help improve aircraft design, identify new manufacturing materials, or optimize flight traffic. We are excited about the possibilities.”
Based on 25 years of pioneering research, IonQ’s unique trapped-ion approach combines superior computing performance, precise qubit replication, optical networkability, and highly-optimized algorithms to create quantum computers that are scalable and powerful, and that will support a broad array of applications.
“Airbus Ventures is delighted to continue to support and be part of this important next chapter for IonQ,” affirmed Thomas d’Halluin, Airbus Ventures Managing Partner. “As IonQ scales the power of its quantum computing systems, we’re on the brink of solving intricately complex challenges beyond the current capabilities of even the world’s most powerful supercomputers. This presents critical opportunities for industrial sectors including commercial aerospace and green energy production, and importantly, for tackling the global challenges of sustainability.”
By 2023, IonQ plans to develop modular quantum computers small enough to be networked together, which could pave the way for broad quantum advantage by 2025.
About IonQ, Inc.
Founded in 2015 by Chris Monroe and Jungsang Kim at the University of Maryland and Duke University, IonQ is developing quantum computers designed to solve the world’s most complex problems, and transform business, society, and the planet for the better. Currently, access to IonQ’s quantum computing is available through both Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Amazon Braket and Microsoft’s Azure Quantum, and also to select customers via IonQ’s own cloud service. To learn more, visit: https://ionq.com.
About Airbus Ventures
Headquartered in Silicon Valley, with offices in Toulouse and Tokyo, Airbus Ventures is a fast-moving, early-stage venture capital company that independently funds and supports startups impacting the aerospace industry. Airbus Ventures has helped aspiring innovators reach new dimensions of achievement since 2015. To learn more, visit: https://airbusventures.vc. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
05 Apr 21. General Atomics acquires data analytics company CCRi. US defence company General Atomics (GA) has announced the acquisition of software engineering and data analytics company Commonwealth Computer Research (CCRi). US defence company General Atomics (GA) has announced the acquisition of software engineering and data analytics company Commonwealth Computer Research (CCRi). The transaction value was undisclosed.
General Atomics CEO, president and chairman Neal Blue said: “The inclusion of CCRi within the GA group will accelerate the delivery of actionable intelligence through the dynamic conversion of data to knowledge. CCRi will continue to serve defence and intelligence communities while contributing to GA systems and strategic objectives.”
CCRi People Operations and Brand Strategy director Julia Farill said that the company will remain and continue to grow in Charlottesville, Virginia.
CCRi said that it will maintain its office in the Charlottesville city.
Founded in 1989, CCRi provides custom software development and information engineering solutions, as well as real time and global situational awareness to government and private industry customers.
CCRi designs and implements ‘scalable big data solutions’, which are intended to rapidly create activity-based intelligence and information dominance for multi-domain operations.
GA and affiliated companies operate across five continents and include General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc (GA-ASI).
GA-ASI produces a series of unmanned aircraft and provides electro-optical, radar, signals intelligence, as well as automated airborne surveillance systems.
In January this year, General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) received a contract modification from the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center (DEVCOM AC) to support further development and maturation of hypersonic projectiles. (Source: army-technology.com)
06 Apr 21. Elbit Systems U.S. Subsidiary Completes the Acquisition of Sparton Corporation. Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: ESLT) and (TASE: ESLT) (“Elbit Systems” or “the Company”) announced today, further to the Company’s announcement of December 23, 2020, that its U.S. subsidiary, Elbit Systems of America, LLC (“Elbit Systems of America”), completed the acquisition of Sparton Corporation (“Sparton”) from an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. for a purchase price of $380m. The closing follows receipt of all the required approvals, including receipt of U.S. Government and regulatory approvals.
Headquartered in De Leon Springs, Florida, U.S., Sparton is a premier developer, producer and supplier of systems supporting Undersea Warfare for the U.S. Navy and allied military forces.
Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, Elbit Systems President & CEO, commented: “The growing importance of the maritime arena and the market position and technological strength of Sparton make this acquisition significant to our long-term growth strategy, with a particular focus on the U.S. We believe that the completion of this acquisition will be beneficial for both Elbit Systems’ and Sparton’s employees and customers.” (Source: PR Newswire)
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.