24 Aug 23. Blacktree Tech records strong performance with $1.2m export sales. Perth-based SATCOM business Blacktree Technology recorded $1.2m in export sales during the last financial year – representing growth of nearly 400 per cent. The company said the strong performance resulted from new partnerships in Italy, France, and Poland. Blacktree designs, manufactures, and sustains SATCOM systems used by militaries globally and also has an office in Canberra.
Managing director Joe Nevin said, “Our innovative strategy aims to maximise the unique set of skills which exist within our local manufacturing supply chain – 90 per cent of which is based in Western Australia – providing other Australian businesses with the opportunity to benefit from our unprecedented exports expansion.
“Additionally, Blacktree has also been able to embark on research and development projects in collaboration with Australia’s leading research universities to strengthen Australia’s position as a world leader in advanced military satellite communications system.”
The news follows Blacktree securing a $36m deal to support the sustainment of the ADF’s SATCOM network last year and being part of Lockheed Martin’s winning JP 9102 bid. Lockheed beat off competition from other major contractors, including Boeing, Northrop Grumman Australia, and Optus to win the $3bn government contract to deliver a new military satellite communication capability for Australia. The contract is arguably the most significant in the history of Australia’s space sector, with its goal of reducing the country’s reliance on the United States and its military assets. (Source: Defence Connect)
22 Aug 23. AeroVironment, Inc. to Acquire Tomahawk Robotics. AeroVironment has announced its anticipated acquisition of Tomahawk Robotics, a leader in AI-enabled robotic control systems. The acquisition will enable deeper integration of both companies’ technology, leading to enhanced interoperability and interconnectivity of unmanned systems through a singular platform with similar control features. This will ultimately enable warfighters to operate various connected robotic solutions in the battlefield and share information between multiple domains with one common controller. The two companies entered into a definitive agreement under which AeroVironment will acquire 100% of Tomahawk Robotics equity for a total purchase price of $120m to be paid in a mix of cash and stock.
Founded by Brad Truesdell and Matt Summer in 2018, Tomahawk Robotics is the visionary force behind the groundbreaking Kinesis Ecosystem, an unmatched tactical capability designed for the warfighter first. At the heart of this innovation lies Kinesis, an AI-enhanced and open architecture common control system that seamlessly integrates the network of battle-proven unmanned expeditionary vehicles, sensors, and third-party software onto a single pane of glass. Powered by innovation, the Kinesis Ecosystem delivers targeted situational awareness and precision strike capabilities for the human-machine teams across the battlespace.
“The acquisition of Tomahawk Robotics will not only provide AeroVironment with strong new members of our team, but a quality brand and products that are widely respected in the industry. Tomahawk Robotics will become part of the small UAS (SUAS) business unit within AeroVironment’s Unmanned Systems segment. We intend to retain all of their workforce and existing facilities in Florida,” said AeroVironment’s CEO and Chairman Wahid Nawabi. “We will support all existing Tomahawk Robotics customers and their products will remain platform agnostic to the market and within the industry. We also plan to introduce Tomahawk Robotics solutions to AeroVironment’s growing network of more than 55 allied nations.”
“Combining features of our Crysalis operating system with Tomahawk Robotics’ AI-enhanced Kinesis platform means pairing the best common controller technology with the most ubiquitous unmanned systems on the market today,” said AeroVironment’s Senior Vice President of Unmanned Systems Trace Stevenson. Tomahawk Robotics’ Kinesis control system was integrated into AeroVironment’s small unmanned aircraft family of systems including Raven© B and Puma TM 3 AE in 2022.
“Tomahawk Robotics’ solutions will accelerate our adoption and implementation of AI and autonomy into AeroVironment platforms,” continued Stevenson. “We’re confident that the combined experience and expertise of our two teams will result in a variety of unmatched unmanned expeditionary vehicles that meet our customers’ emerging needs and exacting standards.”
“Our motto has always been ‘warfighter first.’ Everything we’ve designed or made has been optimized to better equip and prepare soldiers on the battlefield,” said Tomahawk Robotics’ CEO Brad Truesdell. “Joining AeroVironment means our solutions will have a broader reach and the opportunity to be optimized by not only AeroVironment’s family of systems, but the broader robotics community, better enabling warfighters across the globe.”
“Acquiring Tomahawk Robotics strengthens our value to our customers as we will be uniquely qualified to support multiple platforms and offer the best solution for their operational needs,” continued Nawabi. “Tomahawk Robotics’ products will enable AeroVironment’s solutions to achieve an elevated Modular Open System Approach (MOSA) desired by our customers, and the opportunity to expand into new and adjacent markets for interconnected soldiers with a Common Operating Picture enabled by AI and autonomy.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
22 Aug 23. MACOM Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire the RF Business of Wolfspeed, Inc. MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. (“MACOM”) (NASDAQ: MTSI), a leading supplier of semiconductor products, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the radio frequency (“RF”) business (the “RF Business”) of Wolfspeed, Inc. (“Wolfspeed”). The RF Business includes a portfolio of Gallium Nitride (“GaN”) on Silicon Carbide (“SiC”) products used in high performance RF and microwave applications. The business services a broad customer base of leading aerospace, defense, industrial and telecommunications customers and most recently generated annualized revenues of approximately $150 m. The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to MACOM’s non-GAAP earnings.
“We are excited to acquire Wolfspeed’s RF Business and look forward to welcoming its employees to MACOM,” stated Stephen G. Daly, President and Chief Executive Officer, MACOM. “The RF team’s engineering capabilities, technology and products are a perfect fit with MACOM and our strategy.”
The acquisition includes a 100mm GaN wafer fabrication facility in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina (the “RTP Fab”) with operations conveying to MACOM approximately two years following the closing and Wolfspeed’s relocation of certain production equipment. The acquisition also includes design teams and associated product development assets in Arizona, California and North Carolina, as well as back-end production capabilities in California and Malaysia. In addition, MACOM will be assigned or licensed a robust intellectual property portfolio including over 1,400 patents associated with the RF Business.
The RF Business will be acquired for $125 m, including $75 m cash paid at closing and $50 m of MACOM common stock issued with certain restrictions. A workforce of approximately 280 employees is expected to join MACOM at closing, with additional employees joining when the RTP Fab conveys.
Closing of the transaction is subject to the expiration of a waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 and other closing conditions and is expected to occur in the second half of calendar year 2023.
MACOM will host a conference call on Tuesday, August 22, 2023, at 8:30am Eastern Time to discuss the transaction. Investors and analysts may visit MACOM’s Investor Relations website at https://ir.macom.com/events-webcasts to register for a user-specific access code for the live call or to access the live webcast. A replay of the call will be available within 24 hours and remain accessible by all interested parties for approximately 90 days.
MACOM designs and manufactures high-performance semiconductor products for the Telecommunications, Industrial and Defense and Datacenter industries. MACOM services over 6,000 customers annually with a broad product portfolio that incorporates RF, Microwave, Analog and Mixed Signal and Optical semiconductor technologies. MACOM has achieved certification to the IATF16949 automotive standard, the ISO9001 international quality standard and the ISO14001 environmental management standard. MACOM operates facilities across the United States, Europe, Asia and is headquartered in Lowell, Massachusetts. To learn more visit www.macom.com.
Wolfspeed (NYSE: WOLF) leads the market in the worldwide adoption of Silicon Carbide and GaN technologies. We provide industry-leading solutions for efficient energy consumption and a sustainable future. Wolfspeed’s product families include Silicon Carbide materials, power devices and RF devices targeted for various applications such as electric vehicles, fast charging, 5G, renewable energy and storage, and aerospace and defense. We unleash the power of possibilities through hard work, collaboration and a passion for innovation. Learn more at www.wolfspeed.com. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
22 Aug 23. Hypergiant Industries Partners With Trive Capital. Trive Capital, a Dallas-based private equity firm, announces the acquisition of artificial intelligence (AI) defense platform and solutions company, Hypergiant Industries, to complement its current portfolio company, Forward Slope. The acquisition is a natural partnership for the two organizations, who believe in the future of next-generation, AI-enabled technology solutions to secure America’s defenses across all military domains and critical infrastructure. Mike Betzer, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hypergiant, will continue leading the company into its next phase of accelerated growth. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Over the past five years, Hypergiant has emerged as a leader in AI-enabled, cloud-based command-and-control technologies and deployed solutions. The company created a world-class core geospatial data visualization and actions platform, CommandCenter. In addition to ingesting large amounts of information, the platform applies real-time threat analysis, makes AI-generated recommendations, and delivers intelligent insights and actions across all domains. Hypergiant has won numerous innovation awards for its AI-enabled defense solutions and is now focused on scaling this joint all-domain spatial intelligence and actionable CommandCenter software package.
David Stinnett, Partner at Trive Capital, commented, “Hypergiant’s unique geospatial data visualization capability has positioned the company at the leading edge of C5ISR technologies that address mission-critical defense priorities. In an increasingly complex battlespace, Hypergiant is capable of rapidly delivering actionable insights to the warfighter. We are thrilled to partner with Mike and the Hypergiant team to support the company in its next chapter of growth and to formalize a longer-term partnership with our current portfolio company, Forward Slope.”
Hypergiant has also garnered strong market recognition for its futuristic inventions, including AI-enabled projects such as the Hypergiant Eos Bioreactor, Hypergiant Project Orion, the Hypergiant Disaster Mapping System, the Hypergiant Chameleon prototype constellation, and Project ARGUS. These various innovations expand the company’s capabilities and add to its common operating platform – including projects like autonomous vehicles, mobile command centers, and various heads-up display implementations.
Included among the company’s select customers are the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Space Force, the Department of Homeland Security, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. Army, the National Reconnaissance Office, Boeing, and Booz Allen Hamilton.
“Space, defense, and American critical infrastructure all face similar challenges and need AI-enabled common operating pictures for quick and informed decision making. Our approach is to take government-funded projects, where we are building highly performant and secure, battle-ready solutions, and bring that technology to the private sector with mission-specific customization,” said Hypergiant CEO Mike Betzer. “We are excited to partner with Trive as a long-term partner who truly understands the sector and can help accelerate adoption of our platform and offerings to an even broader set of private and public sector clients.”
“Mike Betzer has shown great integrity in his leadership and has continued to deliver on the company’s long-term vision of bringing next-gen AI-assisted insights to the core groups that preserve and enable our way of life,” shared Hypergiant founder, serial technology entrepreneur and now-CEO of Colossal Biosciences, Ben Lamm. “I am excited to see the company continue to scale its technologies that enable superiority on the battlefield through the Trive acquisition and Mike’s leadership.”
Hypergiant was founded by Lamm in 2018, with a goal to bring an AI-enabled approach to an advanced visual multimodal to help organizations across space, defense and critical infrastructure. Hypergiant now has over 150 employees and contractors, and its investors include lead investor Align Capital, along with GPG, Perot Jain, Beringer Capital, and Capital Factory. This acquisition comes on the heels of Hypergiant’s most recent expanded $60M+ contract award from the U.S. Air Force, around its command-and-control platform offering.
“Hypergiant is helping to shift the dynamics of war fighting capabilities, from data-starved and uninformed to data-rich and AI-enabled,” said Dr. Rob Slaughter, U.S. Air Force Major (Ret.) and co-founder and former Director of the U.S. Air Force’s Platform One. “We are in a values competition with our adversaries, and we need a digital advantage. Hypergiant and the growing partnerships that the company is forming help accelerate mission values at this urgent time in our history.”
Hypergiant is building the Common Battle Management Interface for Cloud-Based Command and Control (CBC2). The platform will leverage Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and edge computing hardware to deliver insights and enhance situational awareness for warfighters and decision-makers.
“Hypergiant is building new AI-powered solutions to solve some very complex industry challenges,” said Clint Crosier, director of Aerospace and Satellite Solutions at AWS. “Flexible, scalable, and secure cloud-based tools are a must for satisfying government customer requirements well into the future, and we are committed to supporting Hypergiant’s efforts.”
About Trive Capital
Trive Capital is a Dallas, Texas based private equity firm with more than $4bn of regulatory assets under management. Trive focuses on investing equity and debt in what it sees as strategically viable middle-market companies with the potential for transformational upside through operational improvement. We seek to maximize returns through a hands-on partnership that calls for identifying and implementing value creation ideas.
The Trive team is comprised of seasoned investment professionals who have been involved in over 100 middle-market transactions representing in excess of $6bn in revenue across Trive’s targeted industry sectors and situations.
About Hypergiant Industries
Established in 2018, Hypergiant Industries is at the forefront of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, delivering trusted decision-making software for the space, defense, and critical infrastructure sectors. Our powerful data visualization products empower customers with a comprehensive understanding of specific environments and provide actionable intelligence that enables rapid decision-making on emerging issues. Drawing on our legacy of developing cutting-edge technologies for the world’s most innovative brands, we’re not just envisioning the future – we’re building it, harnessing the potential of AI to ensure the world remains a safe, secure, and thriving place. For more information, visit http://www.hypergiant.com. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
30 Jan 23. RENK Group acquires North American Leader in Suspension Systems for Combat Mobility, Ontario – Canada. RENK Group, through its suspension specialist Horstman, acquires General Kinetics and combines it with its existing advanced mobility center of excellence to create Horstman Canada.
The new company continues to provide superior mobility solutions and now joins with RENK’s strong US, European, and global footprint to deliver a full range of suspension and vibration mitigation. Horstman Canada provides combat proven mobility to both wheeled vehicles such as the Stryker family, and tracked vehicles such as the UK FV430, US Bradley and the M88 Recovery Vehicle.
“Becoming part of RENK’s Horstman team reinforces our support to the Canadian and U.S. Army, and our allies,” Horstman Canada President Chuck Williamson said. “The new organization combines our long established operational excellence with advanced technology and international resources to provide best value to customers and the highest mobility to operators”.
RENK CEO Susanne Wiegand noted “With this acquisition, we are consistently pursuing our path of growth and further internationalization. Furthermore, we are increasing our market share in the most powerful defense market of North America.”
Michael Masur, head of RENK’s Vehicle Mobility Solutions division added “Horstman Canada will increase our market share in the wheeled vehicle market and will further strengthen RENK Group’s global excellence in research and development, systems integration, manufacturing and service”.
“We intend to lead the globally competitive, high growth market for vehicle mobility solutions with the efficiencies and opportunities created by this merger of industry leaders,” says Horstman group CEO Ian Pain. Horstman will adopt the Brampton, Ontario facility as its Canadian headquarters and merge the mechatronics, simulation and active suspension engineering from its existing Woodbridge based team.
Horstman expects to retain all North American employees. In addition, as part of the transaction, Horstman also acquired the US subsidiaries of General Kinetics – with those employees taken on board Horstman’s team in Michigan, USA.
About RENK Group:
Headquartered in Augsburg, Germany, the RENK Group is a leading global player for high-end gear units, power packs, hybrid propulsion systems, suspension systems, plain bearings, couplings and test systems. The company caters to a multiplicity of end markets, focusing especially on security and defense, energy and infrastructure. With more than 3000 employees, the RENK Group has revenue on the high side of EUR 850m.
22 Aug 23. Terra Drone acquires a majority share of Unifly, the world’s leading provider of Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) technology, with a strategic aim to enhance global drone and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) business through integrated strategies. Terra Drone Corporation, a prominent player in the drone and UAM industry, has acquired majority shares in Unifly NV, the recognized UTM global leader. Terra Drone’s stake in Unifly has risen to 51%. Unifly’s stakeholders share a unified commitment to the company’s long-term vision. Terra Drone’s initial investment dates back to 2016, with Unifly also securing shareholders such as PMV, the Flemish government investment fund. Subsequent investments came from strategic partner and customer DFS, the German Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), followed by FPIM, the Federal Public Holding Fund of the Belgian Government in 2018. JOIN, the Japanese government fund under the Ministry of Transport, made a contribution in 2022.
In 2016, when the drone market was still emerging, Terra Drone recognized the immense potential of digital infrastructure to ensure safety and efficiency in the skies, essential for the expansive growth of the industry. Unifly now serves ANSPs and operates UTM systems across more than 8 countries, solidifying its market-leading position. The market widely acknowledges Unifly’s technical expertise and unwavering reliability.
Unifly’s UTM platform is used globally, adeptly navigating complex regulatory environments. It fully complies with Europe’s U-space regulation while adapting to Canada’s RPAS Regulation. Notably, Unifly serves ANSPs like ENAIRE in Spain and skeyes in Belgium, who have been pioneering U-Space establishment. In live Air Traffic Management (ATM) scenarios, the system facilitates the coexistence of drones with manned aircraft. NAV CANADA’s extensively uses the platform within controlled airspace, processing over 100,000 flight approvals.
Furthermore, Unifly is at the forefront of propelling R&D initiatives in both the USA and Europe, dedicated to establishing benchmarks and offering guidance in UTM and UAM. Unifly also highlights local deployments such as the Port of Antwerp, where autonomous Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone flights operate daily. In Saudi Arabia, Unifly has been selected as the designated UTM platform for NEOM, a visionary mega-city project set to be entirely supported by Advanced Aerial Mobility (AAM).
Merging Unifly’s well-established capabilities, with Terra Drone’s ambition, a significant boost can be foreseen in the global development and evolution of UAM and UTM. This collaboration is crucial for shaping the future of aviation. (Source: PR Newswire)
21 Aug 23. ARETUM Announces Acquisition of Artemis Consulting. ARETUM, LLC today announced that it has acquired Artemis Consulting, Inc. (“Artemis”), a McLean, VA-based prime contractor to multiple federal agencies. ARETUM, a leading mid-tier organization focused on providing management consulting, mission support, and technology solutions primarily serves the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and Federal Civilian agencies through a broad array of contracts, contract vehicles, and talented resources. ARETUM is a portfolio company of Renovus Capital Partners.
With this addition, ARETUM has expanded its ability to support its customers’ cloud enablement and enterprise-level modernization efforts along with leveraging open-source technologies for cost-effectiveness and using microservices to bolster reusable infrastructure as well as new capabilities in Scaled Agile software development, DevOps, and mobile application development. Damian DiPippa, ARETUM CEO said, “We are excited to bring the Artemis team under the ARETUM umbrella. Artemis expands and further diversifies our customer base with exquisite agile development capabilities that drive us up the technology stack.”
Amee Shah, CEO of Artemis, commented, “ARETUM is a great cultural fit for our employees, and its strategic vision blends well with that of Artemis.” “We are excited to bring our digital transformation, agile development capabilities, and legacy systems modernization capabilities to ARETUM to provide broader digital transformation expertise to its clients,” adds Rohit Gupta, Artemis Founder and President.
“We are extremely excited about the complementary capabilities Artemis brings to the ARETUM platform and firmly believe they will help ARETUM break new ground and add value to its unique suite of solutions and services to the agencies it serves,” said Manan Shah, Partner at Renovus.
About Artemis Consulting
Artemis Consulting is a Professional Services firm offering IT Technology and Management Services and Solutions to Federal and State Governments. For 24 years, Artemis has designed and developed software and integrated systems that help drive digital transformation efforts for clients. Artemis is skilled in the modernization of legacy systems by creating open-source and COTS applications and running them natively in the cloud. Artemis provides a full range of IT services to build scalable and resilient IT infrastructure for its customers.
About ARETUM, LLC
ARETUM is a leading government contracting company specializing in technology-enabled mission support services for the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and Federal-Civilian customers. ARETUM provides leading-edge solutions and services focusing on Next Generation Analytics, Engineering Services, Training Services, IT Services, Cyber Security, PMO Support, and Financial Consulting. Visit us at www.aretum.com and follow us on LinkedIn.
About Renovus Capital Partners
Founded in 2010, Renovus Capital Partners is a lower middle-market private equity firm specializing in the Knowledge and Talent industries. Renovus manages over $1 bn including its three sector-focused funds. The firm’s portfolio includes over 25 businesses in education and training, healthcare services, technology services, and professional services. Renovus typically partners with founder-led businesses, leveraging its experience to make operational improvements, recruit top talent, pursue add-on acquisitions, and oversee strategic growth initiatives. Visit us at www.renovuscapital.com and follow us on LinkedIn. (Source: PR Newswire)
21 Aug 23. KBR Responds to Sunday Times Article. The Sunday Times included an article on August 20, 2023, which referenced KBR’s (NYSE: KBR) potential interest in acquiring Jacobs Solution Inc.’s Critical Mission Solutions (CMS) business. In the ordinary course, KBR does not comment on market rumors; however, this article has generated significant inbound questions.
KBR has been clear about its capital deployment and strategic priorities. The Jacobs CMS business does not align with either and thus is not being pursued. KBR will continue to pursue opportunities that align with our shareholders’ best interests. We wish Jacobs every success in exiting this piece of their portfolio.
18 Aug 23. Turkey’s Aselsan reports 42% rise in net profit for first half of year. Military electronics specialist Aselsan saw a 42% rise in net profit during the first half of the year, according to financial figures published Aug. 15.
The state-controlled Turkish company said in a news release that the net profit during that time period rose to 5.4bn liras (U.S. $199.1m).
Aselsan said its orders, as of the end of June 2023, reached $8.4bn. Total sales in the first half of the year came in at 18.1bn liras, up 67% from the same period last year.
The company said its engineers managed to “nationalize” — or replace imported equipment with homemade versions — 68 systems. In the past five years, Aselsan said, it did the same for 738 systems, and that its effort led to savings worth $900 m for the national economy.
Ahmet Akyol, the recently appointed CEO of Aselsan, attributed the growth to the company’s “increasing competitiveness in local and foreign markets and its posture as a reliable technology company.”
Akyol said the firm now aims to boost its exports by focusing on high-tech systems while developing more indigenous equipment.
Aselsan is the 47th largest defense company in the world, according to Defense News’ Top 100 list, which ranks firms by their defense revenue. That’s up two spots from last year, despite an 11% drop in defense revenue from fiscal 2021 to fiscal 2022. (Source: Defense News)
SPX CommTech, part of SPX Technologies Inc, innovates specialised technologies within the Radio Frequency (RF) spectrum to ensure a smarter, more secure future for all. Formed by TCI and ECS, SPX CommTech’s Battlespace portfolio enables defence and security teams to detect, defeat and exploit RF signals to enhance communications intelligence (COMINT) and counter unmanned aerial systems (Counter-UAS). Additionally, its Tactical Data Link portfolio allows intelligence gathering agencies, special forces, emergency response, and security teams to securely and reliably transfer video and data between enabled-aircraft and ground teams over long distances for airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR). For more information visit www.tcibr.com and www.enterprisecontrol.co.uk