Griffin Serves as Investment Banker to KDH Defense Systems in its Sale to Armor Express
KDH Defense Systems, Inc. (“KDH”), based in Eden, NC, is a leading manufacturer of American-made custom solutions for body armor. Building on its legacy of innovative, market-leading ballistic technologies for the U.S. Department of Defense, KDH designs, manufactures and distributes high-performance body armor for military, federal government and law enforcement agencies. Since KDH was founded in 2003, it has produced body armor under various U.S. military and federal programs and today KDH is believed to be the largest provider of soft body armor to the U.S. Armed Forces.
Dave Herbener, KDH’s founder, sole shareholder and CEO wanted to explore his liquidity options while simultaneously providing the company with greater resources to ensure its future success. KDH was awarded multiple major contracts in 2016 and 2017, including the next generation of Personal Protective Equipment to be used by the U.S. Army. The large volume orders required KDH to initiate a significant ramp-up of its production capacity, which was executed successfully over the course of 2017 as the Company began to perform on the contracts. With a large backlog of orders in hand, and production capabilities fully in place, Mr. Herbener was fully consumed with managing the business and couldn’t focus on his strategic goals.
Recognizing that its new contracts maximized KDH’s value to a potential acquirer, KDH engaged Griffin to explore potential liquidity options. After learning of Mr. Herbener’s goals in the transaction, Griffin managed a highly targeted sale process with a condensed timeline, approaching only a select group of strategic buyers who were familiar with KDH’s contracts.
Central Lake Armor Express, Inc., (“Armor Express”), a portfolio company of private equity firm Spanos Barber Jesse & Co. and family office Generations Management, was eventually selected as the winning bidder for KDH. Armor Express, based in Central Lake, MI, is a leading supplier of concealable and tactical body armor systems to Law Enforcement, including recent growth with Federal Law Enforcement. The combined company’s complementary strength in Law Enforcement and the U.S. Armed Forces made for a natural combination, and is expected to have a major positive impact on the industry and generate significant value for all stakeholders.