Armor Holdings to Buy Bianchi for $600M Cash

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Armor Holdings Inc., a maker of security products and vehicle armor systems, reported Wednesday it agreed to purchase privately held Bianchi International for $60 million in cash.

Bianchi makes holsters and belts for law-enforcement, private security and military personnel and internal frame backpacks, high-end daypacks, satchels and carrying cases under the Gregory brand name.

Armor Holdings said the deal is subject to regulatory approval and expected to close in the fourth quarter. The company expects the debt-free acquisition to add to earnings immediately. Armor Holdings previously forecast earnings of 65 cents to 70 cents per share for the fourth quarter, and analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call are expecting earnings of 70 cents per share.

For the year ended Sept. 30, Bianchi booked revenue of $36 million. Armor Holdings is expected to post revenue of $933 million in 2004.

The company said it will fold Bianchi in with its Armor Holdings Products Division.

Shares of Armor Holdings fell 51 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $40.89 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.