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Spanos Barber Jesse & Co. Portfolio Company Armor Express Merges with KDH Defense Systems, Creating One of the Largest Manufacturers and Distributors of Body Armor Worldwide
January 19, 2018
Central Lake Armor Express, Inc. ("Armor Express"), a Spanos Barber Jesse & Co. (“SBJ”) portfolio company, has merged with KDH Defense Systems, Inc. (“KDH”), a leading manufacturer of high performance body armor solutions. By joining forces, the companies serve the U.S. Armed Forces, Department of Defense, Federal and Domestic Law Enforcement professionals, and various international agencies across the world.

Since Armor Express was founded in 2005, it has been one of the leading suppliers of concealable and tactical body armor systems to Law Enforcement. The Company has also expanded in recent years, becoming one of the largest providers of protective solutions to Federal Law Enforcement, on the heels of recent contract wins with the Department of Homeland Security and other prestigious Federal agencies. Similarly, KDH is one of the prime manufacturers of protective gear for the Department of Homeland Security and has several contracts with other Federal agencies, in addition to its long-standing heritage as one of the largest suppliers of body armor systems to the U.S. Armed Forces. 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.

Effective with the closing of the transaction, James R. Henderson has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the combined company. An industry veteran with over 30 years of operational and financial experience, Jim previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Point Blank Enterprises, Inc. and was instrumental in the Company’s expansion and growth with the U.S. Armed Forces, Domestic and Federal Law Enforcement, and internationally.

Commenting on the transaction, Mr. Henderson stated, “The combination of Armor Express and KDH is a win for the industry and the thousands of end-users who rely on both companies’ life-saving protective solutions. Manufacturing capacity, ballistic R&D and carrier design capabilities are significantly enhanced, and the platform for growth has never been stronger. Together, Armor Express and KDH will drive innovation and deliver the highest-performing body armor systems in the industry.”

Matt Davis, founder of Armor Express and Dave Herbener, founder of KDH, will both serve as President of their respective organizations, reporting to Mr. Henderson. Manufacturing of Domestic and Federal body armor will continue to be performed at Armor Express’ facility in Central Lake, MI and KDH will continue to produce on its Military, Government and Federal Law Enforcement contracts at its manufacturing facility in Eden, NC.

Tom Barber, Managing Director at SBJ, added “We couldn’t be more excited about the combination of Armor Express and KDH, which are nearly perfect complements to one another.  Jim and his team have the opportunity to leverage unmatched brand heritage, service, customer relationships and innovation to create the industry’s premier body armor solutions company.”

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