MSA Completes Sale of North American Ballistic Helmet Business

Jun 22, 2012, 16:15 ET from MSA

PITTSBURGH, June 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- MSA (NYSE: MSA) of Pittsburgh, Pa., the leading global manufacturer of safety equipment for worker and infrastructure protection, today announced it has completed the sale of its North American ballistic helmet business to Revision Military of Essex Junction, Vt.  Terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

The potential sale of this business, which MSA announced in March, is something the company has been considering for some time, according to Joseph A. Bigler, President of MSA North America.  "The decision to move in this direction came down to two factors:  alignment with MSA's long-term business strategy, and pursuing a course of action that was in the best interest of our associates who work on our North American ballistic helmet line," he said.

MSA produces ballistic helmets at its manufacturing facility in Newport, Vt., where it employs approximately 45 people.  "With Revision Military, we have found a purchaser that is focused exclusively on serving the military, has a strong track record of product innovation and development, and provides our associates in Newport with the best opportunity for future growth and success," Mr. Bigler said.  He added that MSA will continue to manufacture and sell ballistic head protection products outside of North America.

Revision Military develops and delivers a broad range of protective equipment for military use worldwide, including eyewear, face and head protection equipment and newly introduced bullet-resistant plates for body armor. 

"MSA has proven itself to be a trusted helmet supplier to the U.S. Army with the right people and facilities to deliver first-rate helmet shells," said Jonathan Blanshay, CEO of Revision.  "We are pleased to acquire this helmet manufacturing capability from MSA as it provides Revision with the platform to complete its Batlskin head and facial protection systems offerings for military and law enforcement customers."

MSA entered the ballistic helmet market in 2003 following the company's 2002 acquisition of French helmet manufacturer CGF Gallet, and subsequent contract awards from the U.S. Army to produce Advanced Combat Helmets (ACH), the current standard of issue for the U.S. Army.  Over the past five years MSA's product strategy has increasingly focused on its "core" safety equipment product lines where the company has strong expertise, global R&D resources and vast market presence.  MSA's core product focus emphasizes industrial head protection, respiratory protective equipment, fall protection products, portable gas detection instruments and sensors, and fixed gas- and flame-detection systems.

Separately today, MSA also announced it has sold a 25-acre parcel of land in its Cranberry Woods office park for future development.  Located north of Pittsburgh, Cranberry Woods is the site of MSA's global headquarters in Cranberry Township, Pa.  The real estate transaction, combined with the sale of the company's North American ballistic helmet business, will generate $17 million of cash for the company and will benefit second quarter earnings with pre-tax income of approximately $8 million.

About MSA: Established in 1914, MSA is a global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures.  Many MSA products integrate a combination of electronics, mechanical systems and advanced materials to protect users against hazardous or life-threatening situations. The company's comprehensive line of products is used by workers around the world in a broad range of industries, including the fire service, the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, construction, mining and utilities, as well as the military.  Principal products include self-contained breathing apparatus, fixed gas and flame detection systems, handheld gas detection instruments, head protection products, fall protection devices and thermal imaging cameras. The company also provides a broad range of consumer and contractor safety products through a joint venture with MCR Safety.  These products are marketed and sold under the Safety Works® brand.  MSA, based north of Pittsburgh in Cranberry Township, Pa., has annual sales of approximately $1.2 billion, manufacturing operations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America, and 42 international locations.  Additional information is available on the company's Web site at  Information on Safety Works products can be found at

About Revision Military: Revision develops and delivers purpose-built protective equipment for military use worldwide.  The Company, which began with eyewear, has expanded to face, head and torso protection and continues to develop its capabilities for integrated, performance-enhancing soldier systems.  To that end, Revision brings together the most advanced expertise, state-of-the-art facilities and finest technical minds. Clients include the U.S. Department of Defense, the Canadian Department of National Defence, the Netherlands Defence Materiel Organization, the German Federal Defence Force and the UK Ministry of Defence. Privately owned and ISO 9001:2008 certified, Revision's operational headquarters is located in Essex Junction, Vermont, USA, with additional offices in the Netherlands and Canada.