8 months ago

Huntsville’s Dynetics to be acquired by Fortune 500 company

Leidos, a Virginia-based Fortune 500 leader in the science, defense and technology sectors, on Tuesday announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Huntsville-based Dynetics, Inc. for $1.65 billion in cash.

Dynetics, which has been headquartered in the Rocket City since its founding in 1974, is a world-class applied research and national security solutions company, with large portfolios in the space and defense sectors.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020. The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved the transaction. Leidos Holdings, Inc. is a publicly traded company (NYSE: LDOS), while Dynetics is 100% employee-owned.

Dynetics, which has offices across 10 states, will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leidos under the agreement. The CEO of Dynetics will lead this subsidiary, reporting directly to the CEO of Leidos in that role.

As Dynetics is a leading provider of high-technology, mission-critical services and solutions to the United States government (with a proven history addressing our nation’s most challenging and technologically advanced missions), the acquisition will enhance Leidos’ leadership position across its defense, intelligence and civil groups. A press release added that the transaction will also accelerate opportunities within the Leidos Innovations Center (LInC), the company’s innovation engine that researches and develops new technologies and solutions to address the most challenging customer requirements.

“Dynetics is an innovative company with a talented team that will deepen our identity as a national security systems provider and enhance our platform to deliver sustainable, profitable growth,” Leidos chairman and CEO Roger Krone said in a statement.

Dynetics’ presence in Huntsville was named as an important aspect of the acquisition. Leidos expressed enthusiasm for Dynetics’ headquarters location, which provides close proximity to key customers and a strong campus environment with co-located engineering, manufacturing and test capabilities. The exemplary Dynetics team brings deep and well-established customer and community connections in an important national science, technology, aerospace and defense corridor in the Tennessee Valley.

“The addition of Dynetics will significantly increase our capabilities for rapid prototyping and agile system integration and production, enhancing our overall offerings and services to customers. Through the LInC, Leidos develops groundbreaking solutions leveraging a wide range of technologies. Dynetics will further accelerate those efforts, including in hypersonics, space solutions, autonomy and advanced sensors. With Dynetics, we will build on our existing relationships with key U.S. Government customers, particularly in strategically important Huntsville, Alabama,” Krone stated.

He continued, “Dynetics has a powerful suite of services and solutions and an outstanding team of employees driving its success. Together, we will advance our strategy of solving the toughest scientific and engineering problems by leveraging our collective strengths, driven by a shared commitment to innovation. We look forward to welcoming the Dynetics team to Leidos and working together to continue our united mission of excellence, ethics, integrity, and service to customers.”

A release from Leidos pointed to several specific benefits of the acquisition, including adding innovative capabilities in high growth areas and expanding rapid prototyping and secure agile manufacturing & systems integration capabilities.

Adds Innovative Capabilities in High Growth Areas: The addition of Dynetics represents an opportunity to grow in new, attractive segments, including hypersonics, space, and weapons solutions. In particular, Dynetics brings top programs in small glide munitions, hypersonics, and directed energy, which will be a complementary fit and growth driver within the Leidos Defense portfolio. The enhanced diversification of products and services will enable Leidos to capitalize on new opportunities for growth.

Expands Rapid Prototyping and Secure Agile Manufacturing & Systems Integration Capabilities: Dynetics’ rapid prototyping and secure agile manufacturing and systems integration capabilities will complement Leidos’ current ability within the LInC to further enhance innovation and help customers achieve their goals. Specifically, Dynetics’ prototyping expertise spans radars, air vehicles, weapons, c-UAS systems, space, and avionics. Through the transaction, Leidos will gain more than 350,000 square feet of production space, which will support full-cycle product development capabilities from concept through assembly, test and production.

“Dynetics is an innovator and an industry leader,” Dynetics CEO David King commented.

“This transaction will enhance and accelerate our ability to serve customers and ensure their future success. As we have continuously stated, Dynetics is more than just a company, we are a true partner, and today’s announcement will allow us to play an even bigger role serving and meeting the evolving needs of important U.S. Government customers. We are excited to be a part of the Leidos team,” King concluded.

Dynetics has more than 2,300 total employees, including over 1,000 engineers and 1,000 technical specialists. Leidos currently employs approximately 33,000 people.

UPDATED 5:40 p.m.:

In an email, Dynetics director of corporate communications Kristina Hendrix advised, “All of our employees will remain with the company, here (Huntsville) and across the country.”

The acquisition comes after Dynetics this summer announced plans to hire 700 new employees over five years.

Hendrix on Tuesday stated, “Currently, we have 195 job openings on our website. We are still planning to hire as our company has secured major wins such in hypersonics, directed energy, space solutions, intelligence and more.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

5 mins ago

Sierra Club endorses Joe Biden, calls him ‘champion for climate justice’

Emphasizing its agenda of “climate justice,” the California-based environmental group Sierra Club announced its endorsement of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Monday.

In a release touting its intent to elect what it termed “climate champions up and down the ticket,” Sierra Club’s executive director Michael Brune outlined the desire of his group to defeat President Donald Trump.

“We are confident that Joe Biden will be the champion for climate justice that America needs in the White House,” Brune stated. “As Americans head to the polls in November, our country will be facing crises on multiple fronts, including a climate emergency that disproportionately harms communities of color. This may be the most consequential election of our lives, and it is critical that we replace Donald Trump with a leader who understands the scale and urgency of the climate crisis and is ready to take bold action to solve it.”

Sierra Club has maintained an active presence in Alabama this year.

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In May, Secretary of State John Merrill declared Sierra Club an organization “threatening the economic livelihood of Alabama’s own businesses” through what he called a “shortsighted political agenda.”

Merrill cited lawsuits initiated by Sierra Club to restrict Alabama energy production as part of his contention that the group’s effort in the state would kill jobs.

“The Sierra Club, which is based out of San Francisco, California, does not represent Alabama thinking or values,” Merrill wrote. “It is troubling to see out-of-state activist groups working to influence our state’s power supply and its workers.”

In March, Sierra Club was among the environmentalist groups which descended upon the Alabama Public Service Commission to oppose natural gas usage for power generation.

Sierra Club endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election.

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

21 mins ago

Madison County Commission says it will not break the law to remove a Confederate monument

Alabama is obviously not immune from the racial strife gripping the United States. In recent months, we have seen statues come down, a state representative attended a birthday party for Nathan Bedford Forrest, small riots and acts of vandalism.

Like most Americans, Alabamians have generally accepted that the Confederate memorials all over the state on courthouse squares and in public parks are going to come down. Some are headed to cemeteries, some are headed to storage, and the fate of many is still unknown.

In Madison County, the Huntsville City Council and the Madison County Commission have both voted to move its controversial Confederate statue, and a new resting place at Maple Hill Cemetery has been selected. However, the monument still remains.

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That monument was vandalized last week, and Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong did not want to use taxpayer resources to clean it up, so it stands defaced and ugly near the steps of the Madison County Courthouse.

Strong appeared on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” on Monday and made it clear he wasn’t going to clean it up or force county employees to do so, but he hinted that if someone wanted to clean it up in the dead-of-night, like when it was vandalized, they should have at it.

In the interview, Strong voiced frustration with recent reporting that indicated he and the Madison County Commission have not reached out to Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office seeking a way to remove the statue and pay a $25,000 fine.

The commission views this as a non-starter. Strong believes attempting to “negotiate” breaking the law is a violation of his oath of office. Instead, he “filed an application of waiver with the committee based on a law that was written in 2017,” he advised.

Strong is worried about precedent, saying, “[T]here’s a lot of hesitation in contacting the attorney general. What happens if the next time someone that somebody desires to remove the name Jefferson Street, Washington Street or they don’t like the name on a building? What do we do? Just go in here and let somebody set a fee, pay the fee, and say hey just remove whatever you want to?”

My takeaway:

This is what should be done. The Alabama Memorial Preservation Act is the law of the land and it has been upheld.

Obviously, Chairman Strong is right. The law needs to be followed, and if it is unwieldy, change the law. If you don’t, we will be seeing attempts to move historic markers, veteran’s memorials and the like that are followed by the presentation of a cartoonish $25,000 check.

Society cannot just ignore the laws we dislike and pay a fine and move on. The precedent is bad, and the Madison County Commission and its chairman want no part of it.

Listen:


Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

36 mins ago

ICE announces arrests of two illegal aliens in Alabama, including for attempted murder

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday announced two recent Alabama arrests by its Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) division.

According to a release, HSI made the pair of arrests in the Yellowhammer State on July 22.

Agents of the HSI Birmingham office reportedly arrested Christian Martinez, 32, a Salvadoran national and U.S. fugitive, on two state charges of attempted murder, as well as a charge of shooting into an occupied dwelling and another for being an alien in unlawful possession of a firearm.

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HSI Birmingham worked with the United States Marshals Service on Martinez’s arrest on a fugitive warrant at a work site in Mountain Brook. ICE is also pursuing federal charges for unlawful firearm possession. Martinez was booked into the Jefferson County jail and given a $150,000 bond. This is an ongoing, HSI-led investigation, according to the release.

Additionally, HSI Huntsville arrested Iris Ferreira-Cardoso, 49, a Brazilian national, for alleged violations of federal immigration law.

Agents from HSI Huntsville and ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations were part of a federal-local law enforcement collaboration that reportedly arrested Ferreira-Cardoso at a residence in Owens Cross Roads in Madison County. He will remain in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.

ICE advised that both Martinez and Ferreira-Cardoso are aliens who were in the United States illegally.

Martinez is alleged to have illegally entered the country without being inspected or paroled by an immigration officer on an unknown date and at an unknown location.

Ferreira-Cardoso was previously removed from the United States in 2005. He is believed to have returned after that time, allegedly illegally entering without being inspected or paroled by an immigration officer on an unknown date and at an unknown location.

“People in these communities can rest easier knowing that these two violent criminals are not roaming the streets in search of their next victims,” commented Acting HSI Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in Georgia and Alabama.

“The United States should not be viewed as a safe haven for violent criminals fleeing justice in their own countries,” he concluded.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

54 mins ago

Saban: ‘Players are a lot safer with us than they are running around at home’

University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban on Monday afternoon weighed in on the player-led #WeWantToPlay movement to save the 2020 college football season.

In an interview with ESPN, Saban commented on the movement that is in part led by Crimson Tide star running back Najee Harris.

The movement, less than a day old, has quickly gained steam, garnering public reactions already by President Donald Trump, other prominent elected officials across the nation and many in and around college football.

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Speaking to ESPN, Saban pushed back on the notion that student-athletes will inherently be safer if the season is not played.

“I want to play, but I want to play for the players’ sake, the value they can create for themselves,” Saban said.

“I know I’ll be criticized no matter what I say, that I don’t care about player safety,” he outlined. “Look, players are a lot safer with us than they are running around at home. We have around a 2% positive ratio on our team since the Fourth of the July. It’s a lot higher than that in society. We act like these guys can’t get this unless they play football. They can get it anywhere, whether they’re in a bar or just hanging out.”

The legendary coach noted that the SEC has already pushed back the start of its season to September 26 to allow the fall semester to resume before final decisions are made on football.

“It’s going to be a challenge when the other students get on campus, and I get that,” Saban remarked. “But we really don’t know what that entails until it happens. It’s a big reason we pushed the season back, to assess that, which is the prudent way to do it.”

Bama senior All-American offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood also spoke with ESPN, strongly stating his position. He underscored that players need to have a voice as conferences and schools make decisions.

“There’s a lot of noise and bad stuff out there about playing football with the virus going on, but I haven’t really seen anything about what the players want,” Leatherwood told ESPN. “We’ve been grinding all summer, and you don’t want it to be all for nothing.

“The story that needs to be written is that we want to play,” he added. “We take risks every single day, especially in this sport, and life shouldn’t stop. If there is a chance for long-term effects if you get it and people don’t feel comfortable, then don’t play. Everybody is entitled to their right. But we want to play, and we’re going to play.”

Harris, speaking to ESPN, praised Saban’s leadership.

“Coach Saban listens to his players and wants to hear from us first,” the running back advised. “He told us that none of this is about him, but it’s about us. He wants to hear our concerns, and we made it clear that we want to play and feel like Alabama is doing everything they can to make sure we can play safely.”

Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth backed Saban on the matter in a tweet.

“I’m with Coach Saban on this one. The player are much safer on campus and at practice than back home. For the players sake, let them play,” he commented.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 hours ago

Birmingham, Huntsville rated best business climates among cities their size

Business Facilities magazine has ranked Birmingham and Huntsville as two of the most business-friendly cities in the United States.

Birmingham was ranked as the number one most business-friendly mid-sized city, and Huntsville took the number one ranking for small cities.

The same magazine ranked Alabama as the fourth-most business-friendly state in the nation, behind Texas, Virginia and Tennessee.

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Ed Castile, director of Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT), told Made in Alabama why he believes Alabama received good grades in business rankings.

Castile said it is because the state has “an available workforce with an extraordinary work ethic, world-class companies that choose Alabama and hire our citizens, a business-focused Governor and Legislature who are totally engaged in our workforce strategies, and a Secretary of Commerce who helped create the Accelerate Alabama strategy that is the foundation of all our work.”

Business Facilities is a national publication that targets the industrial development and site selection industry. It has been publishing for more than 5o years.

“Alabama, home to thriving automotive and aerospace sectors, continues to expand its reach,” the publication wrote about the Yellowhammer State.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95