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General Dynamics proceeds with $360 million deal for armored vehicle company

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The early end of an antitrust law waiting period has allowed Falls Church-based General Dynamics Corp. to proceed with its $360 million deal to acquire armored vehicle producer Force Protection Inc.

General Dynamics, a major defense contractor, announced on Nov. 7 that is making a $5.52-per-share cash tender offer to purchase the outstanding shares of Force Protection common stock.

Based in Summerville, S.C., Force Protection has about 1,100 employees. It makes its blast- and ballistic-protected products for the U.S. military and its allies. It is known for its Buffalo, Cougar and Ocelot brands of armored vehicles.

The U.S. Department of Justice has granted early termination of the waiting period required by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act in connection with the deal.

General Dynamics said termination of the waiting period satisfies one of the conditions of the tender offer necessary for the acquisition to proceed.

Other closing conditions remain to be satisfied, including the requirement that a minimum number of Force Protection shares are tendered.

Under the terms of the offer, Force Protection shareholders will receive a 31 percent premium over the company’s closing share price on the trading day before the acquisition was announced.

General Dynamics expects the transaction to be completed by year-end and be accretive to its earnings in 2012.


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