Fresh off an acquisition for maker of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), FLIR Systems [FLIR] on Monday said it has agreed to acquire Endeavor Robotics, which makes small robotic ground vehicles for military, public safety and law enforcement customers for $385 million in cash.
The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019.
FLIR is buying Endeavor Robotics from the private equity firm Arlington Capital Partners, which acquired the defense business of iRobot [IRBT] in April 2016 for about $45 million. FLIR said the acquisition will dilute its adjusted per share earnings by 3 cents this year and be accretive beginning in 2020.
For FLIR, the acquisition represents an entrée into the market for ground robotics vehicles. Endeavor makes several man-portable vehicles including the FirstLook, SUGV, and PackBot, and also the heavy-payload Kobra that weighs 500 pounds, including a manipulator arm. The company is also developing additional man portable unmanned ground vehicles.
Endeavor has sold more than 7,000 of its UGVs to customers in over 55 countries. The company was recently awarded an Army contract for the Man Transportable Robotic System Increment II, is teamed with Howe and Howe, which was acquired by Textron [TXT] earlier this year, on the Army’s Robotic Combat Vehicle, and is a finalist for the Army’s Common Robotic System-Individual program.
Endeavor’s products are all controllable by a common controller the company sells.
Earlier this year FLIR acquired Aeryon Labs, which gave it a quadcopter product in the small UAS market. In 2016 FLIR acquired Norway’s Prox Dynamics, a developer and producer of Nano UAS systems. FLIR is best known for its day/night camera technology, although the acquisition years ago of ICx Technologies gave it platforms for the detection space for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats.
“The acquisition of Endeavor Robotics, coupled with previous acquisitions of Aeryon Labs and Prox Dynamics, has positioned FLIR as a leading unmanned solutions provider and advances the strategy we detailed at our investor day last year,” Jim Cannon, president and CEO of FLIR, said in a statement. “This acquisition aligns with our evolution from sensors to intelligent sensing and ultimately solutions that save lives and livelihoods. Endeavor’s momentum with the U.S. DoD and other global defense and police forces provides us significant opportunity to participate in long-term franchise programs and will help us create growth for the company.”
Endeavor Robotics had nearly $46 million in sales in 2014. FLIR didn’t disclose the company’s current sales.
Peter Manos, a managing partner at ACP, said in a statement that “Endeavor has achieved over 100 percent organic growth during our ownership and solidified its role as the technological leader in robotics in the U.S. military.”
Sean Bielat, the CEO of Endeavor, said that becoming part of FLIR will enable the company to the “next level” given FLIR’s investments in unmanned systems.
Once the deal closes, Massachusetts-based Endeavor will become part of FLIR’s Government and Defense Business unit’s Unmanned Systems and Integrated Solutions division. FLIR will report its fourth quarter financial results on Feb. 13 and plans to discuss the deal then.