HDT Int’l Buys Airborne Systems

HDT International Holdings, a provider of mobile-military and emergency response solutions, has acquired Airborne Systems Group Ltd., a Pennsauken, N.J.-based maker of parachute systems and related products. No pricing terms were disclosed for the deal, which included leveraged financing from RBC Capital Markets, BMO Capital Markets and GE Antares Capital. HDT is majority-owned by Metalmark Capital.


HDT International Holdings, Inc. (“HDT”), which is majority owned by Metalmark Capital, today announced the acquisition of Airborne Systems Group Limited (“Airborne”), the world’s leading developer and manufacturer of parachute systems and related products. HDT is a holding company that also owns HDT Engineered Technologies, a leading provider of highly-engineered mobile military and emergency response solutions. The two companies will be separately operated under the leadership of HDT. Elek Puskas, who has led Airborne since 2005, and Airborne’s current senior management team, will continue to lead the company under HDT’s ownership. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“During its 90 year history, Airborne and its predecessors have earned a strong reputation for designing and delivering innovative, high quality products to a global military customer base,” said John Gilligan, Chairman of HDT. “In recent years, Airborne created the bulk of next-generation products adopted by the US Army, including the T-11 and MC-6 troop parachutes as well as the Joint Precision Airdrop Systems (“JPADS”) that allow for the high altitude air drop of cargo and precision-guided delivery to targeted drop zones. We look forward to working with Elek and his exceptional team to assist Airborne as it continues to provide such products and services in support of high-priority programs.”

“Airborne’s products and engineering expertise complement the full HDT line of deployable, expeditionary solutions and broaden the range of products and services that we are able to offer our customers,” said Vince Nardy, Chief Executive Officer of HDT. “The acquisition also expands HDT’s global footprint and customer relationships, augments our product development and engineering service capabilities, and adds a number of very talented and experienced professionals to our leadership team.”

“The addition of Airborne’s unparalleled assets and experience to the HDT platform will accelerate HDT’s objective of providing innovative products and services that help customers in the military and emergency response sectors support lighter, faster, and more agile forces, which are able to quickly deploy, utilize technology-enabled applications, counter asymmetric threats, and achieve mission success,” added Jeff Siegal, Managing Director of Metalmark Capital.

Moelis & Co. and MacFarlanes LLP served as financial and legal advisors to Airborne. RBC Capital Markets and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as financial and legal advisors to HDT. Debt financing in support of the transaction was led by RBC Capital Markets with BMO Capital Markets and GE Antares Capital serving as co-lead arrangers.

About HDT Engineered Technologies

HDT Engineered Technologies is a leading provider of mobile-military and emergency response solutions including rapidly-deployable tactical shelters, highly engineered environmental control and power equipment, and nuclear, biological, and chemical collective protection systems. For more information, please visit www.hdtglobal.com.

About Airborne Systems Group Limited

Airborne is a market leader in the development, manufacturing, and support of troop parachute, aerial delivery systems, and related products and services. Airborne is a leader in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canadian military parachute marketplaces and also has significant relationships with other NATO militaries, NASA, and commercial space customers. For more information, please visit www.airborne-sys.com.

About Metalmark Capital

Metalmark Capital is a leading private equity firm whose principals have a long track record of successful investing in targeted sectors, with particular focus and competence in defense/government services, energy/natural resources, industrials and healthcare. Metalmark Capital seeks to build long-term value through active and supportive partnerships with the companies and management teams in which it invests. Metalmark Capital is an investment center of Citi Capital Advisors. For more information, please visit www.metalmarkcapital.com.