FOLSOM, Calif., Aug. 20, 2012 /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, today announced that the company has signed an exclusive letter of intent to acquire Illinois-based Airtronic USA, Inc. ("Airtronic"), The companies have agreed, on an exclusive basis, to enter into good faith discussions involving a potential strategic combination in which Airtronic would be acquired by GDSI. If the acquisition is completed as expected, Airtronic will continue to operate as a subsidiary of GDSI.
The exclusive agreement is subject to the completion of due diligence reviews by both companies and certain other conditions, including agreement by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. Airtronic is currently a "debtor" under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.
"This proposed strategic acquisition is extremely exciting for both GDSI and Airtronic," said GDSI founder and largest shareholder Richard J. Sullivan, who will become non-executive chairman of GDSI after the acquisition is completed. "I'm looking forward to finalizing all necessary approvals and working with Dr. Merriellyn Kett and the entire Airtronic team going forward. Airtronic has a great track record of manufacturing essential battlefield weapons for the United States and our allies and is well-connected with key agencies in the U.S. and around the world. Working together, I believe GDSI and Airtronic will be a very powerful combination that fits perfectly into GDSI's evolving strategy to become a leader in knowledge-based consulting and security-related solutions in unsettled, complex areas."
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.
Airtronic is a member of the National Small Arms Technology Consortium (NSATC) and the largest woman-owned small arms manufacturing company in the United States. The company has received commendations from the US Army Tank, Armaments, and Automotive Command and the Defense Logistics Agency for the quality and on-time delivery of its products.
Dr. Kett, who has a PhD in analytic philosophy, also commented on the planned acquisition. "I believe very strongly that Airtronic has enormous growth potential and that we provide critically important small arms for the U.S. military and allied militaries. I look forward to finalizing this agreement and continuing to provide strong leadership for Airtronic in the years ahead." Once the acquisition is finalized, Dr. Kett is expected to continue serving as CEO of Airtronic.
More About Richard J. Sullivan
Dick Sullivan is an entrepreneurial pioneer. 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
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. The company was founded in 1990 and 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.
Richard J. Sullivan
SOURCE Global Digital Solutions, Inc.