PALM BEACH, Fla., May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Global Digital Solutions, Inc. (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 the $750,000 bridge loan it received from an investor, which it is using to provide debtor-in-possession financing to Airtronic USA, Inc. ("Airtronic"), is to be converted into GDSI common stock.
"Today's announcement signals growing confidence in GDSI's expanding leadership team and strategic direction," said Richard J. Sullivan, the company's largest shareholder who will become Chairman and CEO after the acquisition with Airtronic is completed. "We've been adding key executives and advisers recently including former Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll, Edwin Wang and Matthew Kelley. The Airtronic team, under the leadership of the company's President and CEO, Dr. Merriellyn Kett, is top-notch. So it is a real vote of confidence to have the $750,000 bridge loan converted to equity. It shows that we are moving in the right direction."
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 President and CEO, is expected to continue serving as CEO of Airtronic once the merger between GDSI and Airtronic is finalized.
More About Jennifer Carroll
Florida's 18th Lt. Governor, Jennifer 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.
Richard J. Sullivan
SOURCE Global Digital Solutions, Inc.