AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for both defense and commercial applications, today announced it has acquired Pulse Aerospace, LLC, a developer and supplier of small VTOL UAS, for $25.7 million in cash, including milestone-based earn-out payments of $5 million. AeroVironment financed the transaction entirely from available cash on hand.
Pulse Aerospace is a leading developer of small VTOL UAS technology in the United States. Pulse’s HeliSynth™ technology brings flight control, payload, and endurance capabilities to market at attractive price points for both defense and commercial end markets. Pulse recently received a multi-year contract award with a maximum value of more than $13 million from an undisclosed defense customer for its Vapor unmanned VTOL systems, spares and services.
AeroVironment expects the transaction to be accretive to its earnings by the third full year of operations.
“The talented Pulse Aerospace team has created a solution set that is unique and will expand our family of unmanned systems by addressing increasing demand from our customers for small VTOL solutions,” said Wahid Nawabi, AeroVironment’s president and chief executive officer. “This transaction brings together two highly complementary companies in terms of products, markets and culture, and will better position AeroVironment to grow our share of the small UAS market. The team at Pulse Aerospace shares our focus on disruptive innovation and we welcome them to AeroVironment. Together, we will deliver even more capability to our customers in the United States and more than 45 allied countries around the world.”
“We are excited to join together to realize the full benefits of this transaction as we employ key, future-defining technologies such as robotics, sensors, software analytics and connectivity.Additionally, we look forward to gaining access to the strong technical talent pool in the Lawrence, Kansas area to help achieve our long-term growth objectives,” Nawabi added.
“AeroVironment’s global market presence dramatically increases the reach of Pulse’s VTOL UAS technology,” said Aaron Lessig, Pulse Aerospace, LLC’s chief executive officer. “Pulse’s offering expands AeroVironment’s mission capabilities with increased payload capacity, which broadens customer use cases. We look forward to growing AeroVironment’s share of the global unmanned systems market together.”
In connection with the transaction, Pulse Aerospace’s Lawrence, Kansas facility will become AeroVironment Innovation Center – Midwest, with a focus on small VTOL unmanned aircraft and mission planning solutions.