Sponsored by TCI International Inc.
14 Oct 21. Qinetiq warns of potential writedown because of supply chain disruption. Shares fall after UK defence technology group highlights difficulties on large programme. Qinetiq said it hoped to keep the cost of the writedown to under £15m. UK defence group Qinetiq has warned of a potential one-off writedown as it became the latest company to suffer from supply chain disruption. Shares in the technology group were 9 per cent lower at 300.14p by mid-morning on Thursday in London, with their performance for the year down about 7 per cent. The FTSE 250 group said in a trading update that “technical and supply chain issues on a large complex programme” could force it to write down its short-term guidance. It said it hoped to keep the cost of the writedown to under £15m, without giving further details. It maintained its medium- to long-term guidance and plans to make acquisitions to enhance its growth. Qinetiq also flagged pandemic-related delivery and supply chain challenges in the US. “We are working closely with our customer and are making progress, jointly with our supply chain, towards recovery of the programme and mitigating this risk to less than £15m,” the company said in a statement. Qinetiq said its half-year earnings were “in line” with market expectations. Steve Wadey, chief executive, declined to provide additional details on a call with analysts but stressed the company expected to limit the fallout to within the current financial year. “From our perspective right now, we absolutely see that we will be able to manage this situation . . . within our full-year period,” he said. “Most of the cash impact has already been seen. It’s about writing down investment in the project to date,” he added. The company, which was created from the 2001 privatisation of Britain’s Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, remains a key partner to the Ministry of Defence. It has also diversified into the US, the world’s biggest military market. For the full year, the group anticipates sales growth of about 5 per cent with operating profit margins at the lower end of its 11 to 12 per cent expected range before any one-off writedowns. In the short-term, however, it anticipates margins will be about 1 percentage point lower. “This forecast includes short-term effects of the customer’s mission shifting from Afghanistan and Covid-related delivery and supply chain challenges in the US,” Qinetiq said. Wadey told analysts that despite the short-term impact on its activities in the US, the group was sticking to its ambition to more than double the size of its US business over the next five years through organic growth and acquisitions. Qinetiq also said it was recruiting a new chief executive for its US business. It said it expected a strong performance from its services business in Europe in the first half of the year to offset the shorter-term weakness in the US. (Source: FT.com)
13 Oct 21. Embedded Ventures Announces ‘First of its Kind’ Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with United States Space Force. Agreement ushers in a new era of cooperation between government and venture capital. Embedded Ventures, a new venture capital firm investing in dual-use space startups beyond launch, today announced an unprecedented multi-year agreement with United States Space Force (USSF)’s SpaceWERX office. SpaceWERX is expanding the space industrial base by forming collaborative research agreements between the military’s operational experts and the top innovators in industry and academia, leveraging commercial investment, and rapidly pursuing new space technologies, while setting ambitious goals since its creation. The arrangement, established via a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) through the Air Force Research Lab’s Technology Transfer Office in New Mexico, enables the two entities to collaborate on research and development opportunities promoting U.S. space industry growth to prepare for the future of an expanded space economy and for the defense of U.S. interests. This agreement marks the first time in history that the USSF has signed a CRADA with a VC firm.
“As the skunkworks of venture capital firms, we knew we wanted to do things differently from the start. We are honored to partake in the first formal VC partnership with USSF,” said Jenna Bryant, Co-Founder, CEO and General Partner of Embedded Ventures. “We’ve been in communication for months, but with this CRADA now in place, we’re thrilled to formally work together to drive success at both organizations. This agreement also impacts me on a personal level, as my brother is a Marine Corps V-22 Pilot, and I want to see our soldiers have access to the best private innovation we can find.”
“Jenna first envisioned the potential for this type of collaboration when she brought senior Department of Defense leaders and I together a few years ago, even before Embedded Ventures existed,” said Jordan Noone, Co-Founder, CTO, and General Partner of Embedded Ventures. “We’re thrilled to be the first VC firm to have such an agreement with USSF, guiding progress for years to come.”
The parties will collaboratively investigate the potential benefits of leveraging VC investment practices to accelerate the pace of change and innovation. They will also examine the USSF industry business relationships to define future methods for investment into the VC ecosystem. Embedded Ventures and USSF will be meeting regularly to discuss progress related to tangible milestones set forth.
There were additional key personnel who helped to orchestrate this alliance, including Mandy Vaughn, Operating Partner at Embedded Ventures, Col. Nathan Diller, Director of AFWERX, Col. Eric Felt, Director of AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate, Gabe Mounce, Deputy Director at SpaceWERX, and Melissa Ortiz, Agreements Specialist for AFRL’s Tech Transfer Office in New Mexico.
“SpaceWERX is excited to formalize this agreement with Embedded Ventures, creating a highly collaborative and efficient workflow between our two groups, while keeping us all accountable,” said Lt. Col. Walter “Rock” McMillan, Director of SpaceWERX. “From the moment I met Jenna, Jordan and Mandy, I knew they were the right team to launch this unique cooperative research and development agreement. They possess the talent, insight and all the necessary ingredients to be leading the next generation of space investment.”
“Space is inherently different in that it leverages commercial industry as an integral part of every space capability,” said Mandy Vaughn, Operating Partner at Embedded Ventures. “This relationship is a tangible first step for us. I think that it shows that a key element of their own success is to tap into the emerging companies and sectors that firms, like Embedded Ventures, were established to foster.”
ABOUT EMBEDDED VENTURES
Launched in 2020, Embedded Ventures is a next generation venture capital firm investing in dual-use space startups beyond launch, best described as “the skunkworks of Venture Capital,” named both for their unique investment approach and backgrounds. Co-Founders Jenna Bryant and Jordan Noone both have atypical industry experiences and strong passions for the communities they represent. The firm prefers to invest in the pre-seed and seed stage startups focused in the advanced/edge computing, quantum systems, defense and security, communication infrastructure, logistics and supply chain, mining, battery/power systems, material science, advanced peripherals, aerial mobility, dual-use technology, drone technology, U.S. manufacturing, biotech/biochem and sustainability sectors. To learn more about Embedded Ventures, please visit its website, Medium, Twitter, Twitch and YouTube pages.
Jenna Bryant moved to Los Angeles from Alabama to complete her BS degree in Apparel Design. Post-graduation, she took a job that was originally meant to be temporary, specializing in recruiting “hard to fill” engineering roles for early-stage startups in L.A. This led to an unexpected permanent shift for Jenna, who has now spent the last decade as a tech recruiter turned Venture Capitalist, Bryant has invested in and helped build some of the most notable early-stage startups in the country from the ground up.
Jordan Noone has had a lifelong interest in aerospace and began designing and building spaceflight hardware at the University of Southern California. Noone led USC’s Rocket Propulsion Lab and became the first student and youngest individual in the world to receive Federal Aviation Administration clearance to fly a rocket into space. After graduating, Noone worked at SpaceX and later co-founded and was the CTO of 3D-printing rocket startup Relativity Space, most recently valued at $4.2B.
Mandy Vaughn is a long-time advocate for the acceleration of the integration of commercial space technology into National Security systems and missions. After receiving a bachelor’s and master’s degree from MIT, she was an astronautical engineer and program manager in the U.S. Air Force and later with General Dynamics, working a variety of Space Superiority and other key national security mission areas. She was the first President of VOX Space at Virgin Orbit, offering their small launch vehicle system to the national security sector. She is also the Founder & CEO of GXO, Inc. where she helps mature companies move into the national security market, and is an Operating Partner at Embedded Ventures, supporting their growing portfolio of space startups beyond launch.
Headquartered at the Los Angeles AFWERX hub, SpaceWERX inspires and empowers collaboration with innovators to accelerate capabilities and shape our future in space. Major technology trends that affect our national security continue to emerge from private industry, academia, and the government. The U.S. Space Force’s competitive advantage is our ability to identify, validate, acquire, and integrate those technologies quickly. Accordingly, SpaceWERX seeks to form collaborative partnerships between the military’s operational experts and the top problem solvers in industry, academia, and the government. (Source: PR Newswire)
13 Oct 21. German Defense Company RENK Group Unveils American Subsidiary. The American subsidiary wants to give the Army and primes a “one point of contact” for vehicle propulsion. German defense company RENK Group has launched a new US subsidiary, aiming to become a leading manufacturer of combat propulsion packages for combat vehicles. The new company, formed in July after RENK bought L3Harris Technologies Combat Propulsion Systems for $400m in cash, believes it has a market advantage by being the only manufacturer in the world that now produces engines, transmissions and hybrid power solutions under one company. The significance, according to CEO Ted Trzesniowski, is that the company will be a one-stop shop for customers when it comes to propulsion, cutting down on prime customers having to cut deals and truck production from multiple, smaller shops.
“Instead of [the] Army or primes [needing] to deal with multiple vendors, basically they will have one point of contact,” Trzesniowski said. “We are taking responsibility for entire power pack or propulsion, which as you can imagine for the combat vehicles is probably one of the most critical things.”
Thanks to its purchase of the former L3 subsidiary, RENK America products currently power Army vehicles such as the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and M88 Recovery Vehicle. The company is based in Muskegon, Mich, out of a 1.2 m square foot L3Harris facility that the new company converted into its headquarters.
The parent RENK Group, based in Augsburg, Germany, makes vehicle parts, including gearboxes and transmissions for armored vehicles. According to the company website, RENK Group supplies militaries in more than 30 countries. RENK America will be a “key” addition to the RENK Group, Trzesniowski said, and provide “substantial” new revenue and a route to the US marketplace.
“We will continue to develop our own legacy product, improve that product that’s worked very well known and dependable for US forces, but also we will offer something additional which is basically technology designed in Germany, built now in US, and offer in US market,” Trzesniowski said.
Trzesniowski said that the RENK America is currently talking with several of the contenders in the running for the Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle which is replacing the Bradley. He said that the company’s power solution “absolutely will include hybrid” propulsion, as “That’s where, I believe, the future lies.”
Trzesniowski said that his view is that military vehicles will eventually be mostly hybrid, not fully electric, because of the challenges associated with recharging on the battlefield.
“I truly believe that they will all eventually get to hybrid,” Trzesniowski said. “They will eventually turn into power generators, instead of towing a generator behind you or having the big two generators, you can actually generate that power in the vehicles.” (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
11 Oct 21. Cellebrite to Acquire Digital Clues, Strengthening Its Market Leading Position as the End-To-End Investigative Digital Intelligence Platform Provider. Cellebrite (Nasdaq: CLBT), a leader in Digital Intelligence (DI) solutions for the public and private sectors, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of open-source intelligence firm Digital Clues AG (“Digital Clues”). The acquisition strengthens Cellebrite’s market-leading Digital Intelligence platform, reinforces our position as the end-to-end technology partner capable of digitizing the entire investigative workflow, and is expected to aid in growing the company’s footprint within law enforcement intelligence and investigation units across the globe.
The start of an investigation is time-sensitive, and information must be gathered as quickly as possible. Digital Clues’ open-source intelligence solutions kickstart law enforcement intelligence and investigation efforts when there are no targets and very few clues, helping customers collect and connect data from many dynamic sources including the surface web, deep web, and dark web.
Israel-based Digital Clues has a team of more than 20-persons, boasting a strong contingent of Research & Development specialists and a leadership team with decades of experience across intelligence, big data, and security for public safety agencies and enterprises. Digital Clues technology is available both as a SaaS offering and as on-premise software. Their solutions enable the collection of large amounts of data from various sources, leveraging artificial intelligence to draw valuable insights on suspected persons or entities, while enriching other digital evidence with valuable information from open sources.
Yossi Carmil, Cellebrite CEO, said, “We are pleased to announce this acquisition, an important step in executing against our vision of building a leading end-to-end investigative Digital Intelligence platform. Open-source intelligence capabilities provide law enforcement agencies with critical tools to capitalize on those crucial early hours of an investigation. The team at Digital Clues has built up a strong reputation in this space and we look forward to welcoming them into the Cellebrite family.”
Yossi Ofek, CEO & Chairman of Digital Clues, brings over 20 years of experience in homeland security and will lead the open-source intelligence business efforts at Cellebrite. He comments: “The demand for cloud-based and on-premises open-source intelligence solutions is driven by the increasing need for automated systems to help public safety agencies sift through the tidal wave of information hosted on the web. We share Cellebrite’s commitment to accelerate justice and are excited about combining Digital Clues’ capabilities with Cellebrite’s world-leading and comprehensive Digital Intelligence platform.”
The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021 and is subject to customary closing conditions.
Cellebrite’s (Nasdaq: CLBT) mission is to enable its customers to protect and save lives, accelerate justice, and preserve privacy in communities around the world. Cellebrite is the global leader in Digital Intelligence solutions for the public and private sectors, empowering organizations to master the complexities of legally sanctioned digital investigations by streamlining intelligence processes. Trusted by thousands of leading agencies and companies in more than 140 countries, Cellebrite’s Digital Intelligence platform and solutions transform how customers collect, review, analyze and manage data in legally sanctioned investigations. To learn more visit us at www.cellebrite.com and https://investors.cellebrite.com. (Source: PR Newswire)
10 Oct 21. Honeywell raises outlook for business jet deliveries as demand rebounds. Honeywell International Inc (HON.O) on Sunday raised its outlook for business jet deliveries, as the aviation sector shakes off the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and travel picks up with easing restrictions. The U.S. industrial conglomerate forecast up to 7,400 new business jet deliveries worth $238bn from 2022 to 2031, up 1% from the same 10-year forecast a year ago.
Wealthy travelers wanting to fly with fewer people during the pandemic has put pressure on the availability of new corporate aircraft and led to a shortage of pre-owned business jets.
“The increased demand for used jets is estimated at more than 6,500 units over the next five years, putting pressure on an already record low inventory and driving additional demand for new jets,” said Heath Patrick, president of Americas aftermarket for Honeywell Aerospace.
Business jet operators surveyed by Honeywell reported a sharp increase in their used jet purchase plans, 12% above last year’s report, the North Carolina-based company said.
Last month, planemaker Boeing Co (BA.N) also revised up its long-term demand forecasts with a rebound in commercial air travel in markets like the United States. (Source: Reuters)
08 Oct 21. Oshkosh Corporation Announces Fiscal Year Change and Provides Business Update. Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK), a leading innovator of mission-critical vehicles and essential equipment, is making two announcements this morning.
Fiscal Year Change
The Company’s Board of Directors approved a change in the Company’s fiscal year to a calendar year beginning on January 1 and ending on December 31, effective for the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2022 (Calendar 2022). Historically, the Company’s fiscal year began on October 1 and ended on September 30. Oshkosh is taking this action to better align the timing of its business planning and reporting activities with those of its customers.
To facilitate the transition to the new fiscal year, the Company will have an abbreviated fiscal year from October 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021 (Stub Period).
The Company is also providing an update on current business conditions that impacted the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 and will likely continue into Calendar 2022.
While Oshkosh is seeing strong growth in demand, the Company is experiencing significant supply chain and logistics disruptions as well as material and freight cost inflation similar to other companies that are beyond the Company’s prior expectations. The unavailability of parts has impacted the Company’s ability to produce and ship units, particularly at Access Equipment, and has also contributed to labor inefficiencies. As a result, Oshkosh now expects to report both revenues and diluted earnings per share (EPS) for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 that are lower than what the Company discussed on its fiscal third quarter conference call.
“We implemented multiple price increases in our non-Defense segments over the past six to nine months to combat unprecedented raw material inflation and freight cost escalation,” said John C. Pfeifer, Oshkosh Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer. “Based on current conditions, we expect that our pricing actions will cover our higher input costs. However, due to our backlogs, we do not believe this price catch-up will occur until the end of the second quarter of Calendar 2022. If cost escalation persists, we will take additional pricing actions.”
The Company is in the process of closing its books and compiling its fiscal 2021 financial statements, so final results are not yet available. Preliminarily, the Company expects to report fourth quarter fiscal 2021 revenues of ~$2.05bn, leading to diluted EPS of approximately $1.10 to $1.15 and adjusted1 diluted EPS of approximately $0.90 to $0.95. The Company expects the current challenges to persist into the Stub Period and expects substantially lower EPS compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021.
“Despite the near term pressure, we maintain a positive outlook for our businesses as we expect robust customer demand to continue for our Access Equipment, Fire & Emergency and Commercial segments. Additionally, we remain confident in our Defense segment with its strong foundation of current programs complemented by significant recent program wins, including the U.S. Postal Service’s Next Generation Delivery Vehicle and the U.S. Army’s Medium Caliber Weapons System. We are navigating the current environment by taking all appropriate actions within our control, and we remain confident that Oshkosh is well-positioned to drive long-term profitable growth,” added Pfeifer.
More detailed commentary and updates will be provided in the Company’s year-end fiscal 2021 earnings release and conference call to be held on October 28, 2021.
Preliminary Results and Forward-Looking Statements
The preliminary financial results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 represent the most current information available to management and reflect estimates and assumptions. Our actual results may differ materially from these preliminary results due to the completion of our financial closing procedures, final adjustments and other developments that may arise between the date of this release and the time that financial results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 are finalized. The preliminary financial results have not been audited by our independent registered public accounting firm nor has our independent registered public accounting firm performed any procedures with respect to this information or expressed any opinion or any form of assurance regarding such information. These preliminary financial results should not be viewed as a substitute for full financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
08 Oct 21. Novanta Renames Newly Acquired Company Novanta IMS, Highlights Opportunities Ahead. After officially acquiring Schneider Electric Motion, Novanta is renaming the company Novanta IMS as it creates new synergies and opportunities for its new corporate owner.
The new company is an ideal fit for Novanta, a trusted technology partner to medical and advanced technology equipment manufacturers. As a manufacturer of motion control components for automation equipment, Novanta IMS is a leader in creating innovative solutions in brushless motor technology, integrated motor drives and electronic controls.
“Novanta IMS is an excellent strategic acquisition because it helps us expand into automatic and robotic applications through advanced motion control solutions,” said Matthijs Glastra, Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of Novanta. “It’s also increasing opportunities for us in Life Sciences and Medical end markets and broadening our access to sophisticated automation integrators.
“Novanta IMS enhances our capabilities in these rapidly evolving markets, providing even more ways for us to serve our customers with unique, innovative, high-performance solutions,” Glastra added.
Novanta officially acquired Schneider Electric Motion for $115 m in cash in August and then decided to rename the company. The new name reflects the company’s past as well as its future as an important part of Novanta.
Started 35 years ago as Intelligent Motion Systems (IMS), the business develops key solutions for applications demanding highly precise, controlled movement in areas including medical instruments, lab automation, robotics and other advanced manufacturing applications. It has about 60 employees and is headquartered in Marlborough, Conn.
“We have been committed to developing innovative motion control solutions since we were founded in 1986 as Intelligent Motion Systems, so our new name Novanta IMS is a nod to our roots,” said Eric Klein, General Manager at Novanta IMS. “We are looking forward to maintaining the same level of consistent support and high-quality products under our new ownership as we have for nearly 40 years.”
Novanta IMS will work closely with Celera Motion, a market-leading provider of motion control components and subsystems for OEMs serving a variety of medical and advanced industrial markets.
Together, they plan to expand into new applications and markets, creating new synergies between teams, leveraging their best marketing strategies and increasing their customer bases and distribution networks.
“We are excited to collaborate with the incredibly talented team at Novanta IMS,” said Kalpana Singh, President & General Manager of Celera Motion. “The team’s extensive expertise and experience are major assets in helping us broaden our reach into new markets.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
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.