PALM BEACH, Fla., May 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Global Digital Solutions (OTC PINK:GDSI), a company that is positioning itself as a leader in providing knowledge-based and culturally attuned social consulting and security-related solutions in unsettled areas, announced today that Matthew Kelley, Managing General Partner of Vox Equity Partners of West Palm Beach, FL, has been appointed to the position of senior adviser.
Mr. Kelley will provide strategic financial guidance to facilitate the planned merger between GDSI and Airtronic USA, Inc. ("Airtronic"), along with future acquisitions. In a sign of confidence in GDSI's significant growth opportunity, and to ensure that he is aligned with the interests of shareholders, Kelley will receive equity instead of cash compensation.
Mr. Kelley's appointment comes just a few weeks after the announcement that Florida's former Lt. Governor, Jennifer Carroll, joined the company as a senior adviser and that she is expected to become President and Chief Operating Officer of GDSI once the planned merger with Airtronic has been completed.
"Matt Kelley's appointment is a significant step in the strategic growth of GDSI," said Richard J. Sullivan, the company's largest shareholder who will become Chairman and CEO after the acquisition with Airtronic is completed. "We're in the process of building a winning team at GDSI. I'm pleased to say that Matt and other key leaders are so confident in GDSI's future that they will accept an equity stake in the company instead of cash compensation. This says a lot about the strength of GDSI's strategic vision and it aligns the interests of the leadership team directly with the interests of shareholders."
On August 20, 2012, the GDSI and Airtronic announced that they had signed a letter of intent to enter into good faith discussions involving a potential strategic combination in which Airtronic would be acquired by GDSI. Having completed those good faith discussions, the companies signed a merger agreement and reorganization plan on October 16, 2012.
Dr. Merriellyn Kett, Airtronic's CEO and President, is expected to continue serving as CEO of Airtronic once the merger between GDSI and Airtronic is finalized.
Here's a sampling of Matthew Kelley's recent transactions:
- Biocuis, Inc. involving a next generation mass spectrometer technology. Acquired by Agilent for $57 million in cash;
- Biotrove, Inc., which developed the mid-density OpenArray® Real-Time PCR System. Acquired by Life Technologies;
- Hydrocision, Inc., featuring minimally invasive medical devices utilizing water jet technology. Recapitalized by Volcano Capital; and
- Rib-X, Inc., involving the development of novel classes of antibiotics resulting from Rib-X's RX-04 program for the treatment of resistant Gram-positive and resistant Gram-negative pathogens. Executed an exclusive worldwide research collaboration agreement and option for license with Sanofi valued at $772 million.
More About Matthew Kelley
From 2006 to the present, Matthew Kelley has served as co-founder and managing general partner of Vox Equity Partners based in West Palm Beach, FL. The firm is a specialized private equity fund manager that has been purchasing bank private equity portfolio (or "merchant banking") investments since 2006. Vox offers a proprietary methodology and platform to transact constructed bank private equity portfolios for purchase and subsequent management.
Prior to Vox, Kelley served as a partner with Boston-based Accretive Capital Partners, as Interim Director with Navigator Technology Ventures in Cambridge, MA, as Director of Private Equity Investment with MB Capital of Boston, MA, as Venture Capital Associate with Zero Stage Capital of Cambridge, MA, and as an Associate in the Emerging Business Group with Coopers & Lybrand of Boston, MA. Kelley holds an AB degree in Government & Economics from Dartmouth College (1991), a Master of Business Administration from Northeastern University (1997) and a Master of Science in Accounting from Northeastern University (1997). For more information, visit http://voxequitycapital.com/Home.html
More About Jennifer Carroll
Florida's 18th Lt. Governor, Carroll was the state's first female elected as Lt. Governor and its first African-American elected statewide. As Lt. Governor from 2011 to 2013, Carroll oversaw the Florida Department of Military Affairs, the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, and was Chairperson of Space Florida. Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad West Indies, Jennifer Carroll immigrated to the United States as a young child. After enlisting in the United States Navy in 1979, Carroll served her adopted nation honorably and with distinction, rising from the rank of jet mechanic E-1 to retire as a Lieutenant Commander, Aviation Maintenance Officer. During her 20-year Navy career she was awarded numerous awards, including a Meritorious Service Medal, two Navy Commendation Medals, two Navy Achievement Medals, a National Defense Service Medal, and an Expert Pistol Medal. As a Florida state legislator, Carroll served as Deputy Majority Leader from 2003-2004, Majority Whip from 2004-2006, Chair of the Finance Committee from 2006-2008, and Chair of the Economic and Development Council from 2008-2010. Carroll holds an MBA degree from St. Leo University.
More About Richard J. Sullivan
Dick Sullivan is an entrepreneurial pioneer. In 2001, Sullivan received the prestigious World Economic Forum's "Award for Advanced Chip Technology" presented in Davos, Switzerland. He served as Chairman and CEO of Applied Digital Solutions, where he executed a technology rollup involving 42 acquisitions that succeeded in increasing the company's share price from $2.50 to a peak of $18 per share. During Sullivan's decade-long tenure as Chairman and CEO, Applied Digital was one of the highest volume traded stocks on NASDAQ. Sullivan also served as Chairman and CEO of Digital Angel Corporation and led the effort to spin off VeriChip Corporation. In 1970, he was a founding member of the management team of Manufacturing Data Systems, Inc., which listed at $7.50 per share and was sold to Schlumberger N.V. in 1980 at $65 per share.
More About Merriellyn Kett, PhD
Airtronic's CEO and President joined the company in 2003 as a partner and helped to refocus the business on several essential battlefield weapons, including the M203 40mm Grenade Launcher – one of the most widely used grenade launchers in the world – the .50 cal. Machine Gun, the MK 19 Grenade Machine Gun, and most recently the MK 777, a shoulder-fired recoilless rifle that is light, lethal, and affordable. Dr. Kett received her doctorate in analytic philosophy from DePaul University in Chicago, IL, and spent a year studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. Before joining Airtronic in 2003, she worked in infrastructure development in China, building a metallurgical coking plant in Shanxi Province.
About Global Digital Solutions, Inc.
Global Digital Solutions is refocusing its business strategy on providing knowledge-based and culturally attuned societal consulting and security-related solutions in unsettled areas. For more information please visit http://www.gdsi.co.
About Airtronic USA, Inc.
Airtronic is an electro-mechanical engineering design and manufacturing company. It provides small arms and small arms spare parts to the U.S. Department of Defense, foreign militaries, and the law enforcement market. The company also manufactures medical, avionics, and telecommunications original equipment. The company's products include grenade launchers, rocket propelled grenade launchers, grenade launcher guns, flex machine guns, grenade machine guns, rifles, and magazines. Founded in 1990, the company is based in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. On May 16, 2012, the voluntary petition of Airtronic, Inc. for liquidation under Chapter 7 was converted to Chapter 11 reorganization. The company had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on March 13, 2012. For more information, please visit www.Airtronic.net.
Statements about the company's expectations, including revenue and earnings and all other statements in this press release, other than historical facts, are "forward looking" statements and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change at any time. The company's actual results could differ materially from expected results. In reflecting subsequent events or circumstances, the company undertakes no obligation to update forward looking statements.
William J. Delgado
Richard J. Sullivan
SOURCE Global Digital Solutions, Inc.