PALM BEACH, Fla., May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Global Digital Solutions (PINKSHEETS: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 international financing expert Edwin J. Wang, founder and senior managing director of Accretive Capital, has joined the company's growing team of senior advisers. In a sign of confidence in GDSI's growth potential, Mr. Wang has opted to be compensated in equity instead of cash.
"Today's announcement is part of an accelerating team-building process at GDSI that includes senior-level talent including Florida's former Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll," said Richard J. Sullivan, the company's largest shareholder who will become Chairman and CEO after the acquisition with Airtronic is completed. "Ed Wang is a well-regarded and well-connected senior investment manager with years of high-level experience in global capital markets. Jennifer Carroll and I look forward to working closely with Ed as we explore investment strategies related to the Airtronic merger and other growth opportunities. Ed's a real pro with a proven record of success in raising substantial amounts of financing in domestic U.S. and international capital markets."
On April 24, 2013, the company announced that Florida's former Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll had joined GDSI as a senior adviser and that she was expected to become the company's President and Chief Operating Officer after the completion of the planned merger with Airtronic.
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.
More About Edwin J. Wang
Ed Wang is the founder and senior managing director of Accretive Capital Partners LLC (2002), a leading direct secondary and co-investment sponsor in middle market private equity with assets under management of $215 million across Fund I and separate accounts. In addition, Accretive advises on private equity assets in excess of $1.3 billion. From 2002 to 2007 while at predecessor firm Asymmetry Capital LLC, he led the successful financial restructuring and liquidation of $450 million in distressed private equity portfolio assets and monetized value-added liquidity creation in excess of $200 million. In restructuring and liquidating Zero Stage Capital, he led the successful monetized turnaround and engineered structured liquidity events for numerous portfolio companies including: ViaCell, Inc. (a $60 million IPO underwritten by CSFB and UBS); Aprilis, Inc. (a $25 million tender offer by CrossMatch Technologies, Inc.); LiveWave ($25 a million acquisition by Smiths Detection Services); and WorldWinner Inc. (a $30 million acquisition by Fun Technologies, an affiliate of Liberty Media). Mr. Wang's accomplishments were chronicled in two Harvard Business School case studies and other publications, including The Deal Magazine. Previously, during an eight-year investment banking career, Mr. Wang spearheaded Greater China cross-border investment banking at Credit Suisse. He began his career in financial services as an Associate in the Capital Markets Group at Lehman Brothers. Mr. Wang earned his B.A. in Economics from Columbia University and was a Visiting Fellow in Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management under the supervision of the late Nobel laureate, Dr. Franco Modigliani.
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 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.
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.
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