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Armor Holdings Acquires Innovative Ballistic Fiber Technology

by Staff Writers
Jacksonville FL (SPX) Jul 14, 2006
Armor Holdings has announced that it has acquired Integrated Textile Systems, Inc. ("ITS"), a Monroe, North Carolina-based manufacturer of the high-strength material, Tensylon. Tensylon, derived from an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene polymer, has a wide variety of applications, including advanced fiber composites for use in ballistic products.

The Tensylon high performance fiber or tape can be processed into any number of specialty tailored composites, depending on the unique application.

This acquisition will allow Armor Holdings to develop complete solutions for emerging blast and ballistic threats by starting with the base material.

While the terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, Armor Holdings plans to make capital investments in excess of $12.0 million over the next two years to significantly increase its Tensylon capacity, which it expects to utilize largely in force protection products and systems.

The Company's application development phases are largely complete and management plans to qualify Tensylon into a variety of Armor Holdings' programs including, among others, vehicle armoring applications which are currently underway. The specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed and while the acquisition is not expected to have an immediate material impact on the Company's 2006 financial outlook, the Company does believe that Tensylon will have a meaningful financial impact on its performance over the next five years.

Robert R. Schiller, President and Chief Operating Officer of Armor Holdings, commented, "We are very excited to acquire core technology for our markets and to gain control over a versatile, low-cost, high-performance ballistic material. This acquisition underscores the importance of our long term research and development commitment and resulted directly from our efforts to centralize our R&D function under a Chief Technology Officer.

While ITS is still in its development stages, we expect it to meaningfully expand our product offering by providing us control over a core ballistic technology with unique properties. We also expect to significantly expand our Tensylon capacity and to utilize this material as a complementary solution with other ballistic materials we currently procure though key suppliers."

Dr. Tony Russell, Chief Technology Officer of Armor Holdings, commented, "Tensylon has the capability to be a significant new material in the survivability industry. The Tensylon manufacturing process is much cleaner than the manufacture of other ballistic fibers, and Tensylon's low-cost nature could provide Armor Holdings with an important competitive advantage in producing new, advanced, light-weight vehicle armoring solutions. Similar advantages could also be realized in the future development of soldier equipage solutions."

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