Major defense market exit: Military tech giant Leonardo acquires Israel’s Rada

According the joint announcement, this merger combining the Top Defense Technology Companies into Leader in Advanced Sensing and Force Protection

Major defense market exit: Military tech giant Leonardo acquires Israel’s Rada

Photo: RADA website

RADA Electronic Industries Ltd., an Israeli provider of advanced software-defined military tactical radars and Leonardo DRS Inc., a leading mid-tier defense technology provider, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to merge and become a combined public company.

Leonardo DRS will acquire 100% of the share capital in RADA in exchange for approximately 19.5% equity ownership to RADA shareholders in the Combined Company, which will maintain the name Leonardo DRS and is anticipated to trade on NASDAQ and TASE under the symbol “DRS.” It should be noted that Rada value at the time of the transaction on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange was estimated at about $ 580 million.

Upon the closing of the transaction, which is expected in the fourth quarter of 2022, RADA will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Leonardo DRS. Leonardo DRS is expected to be listed on NASDAQ and TASE under the symbol “DRS.” The business combination is anticipated to be tax free for RADA and Leonardo DRS shareholders.

Combined Company had $2.7 billion of Revenue and $305 million of Adjusted EBITDA in 2021.At the end of the first quarter of 2022, Combined Company had pro forma net financial debt of approximately $197 million and a net financial debt to LTM Adjusted EBITDA ratio of 0.6x. The 19.5% ownership in the combined company provided to RADA shareholders was designed to provide a premium in excess of 20%.

According to the joint announcement, this transaction is anticipated to strengthen Leonardo DRS into a market leader in advanced sensing and force protection aligned to many of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. and international defense markets. RADA’s unique advanced tactical radars are complementary to Leonardo DRS and are expected to improve its position as an air defense, counter-UAS and vehicle protection integrator in the force protection market segment.

For RADA, combining with Leonardo DRS is expected to significantly bolster its global competitive positioning and increase its scale, program diversity, cash generation and addressable market, providing significant future growth and value creation opportunities. Together, the Combined Company expects to be a market leader in force protection and integrated multi-domain systems, addressing global opportunities through the worldwide presence of Leonardo SpA. 

RADA and Leonardo DRS are strong and complementary technology companies, and their close historical relationship through collaboration on multiple programs, has resulted in a deep cultural fit. The Combined Company will work across a broad portfolio of world-class defense products, including advanced sensing, force protection, network computing and electrical power & propulsion.

The Combined Company will have positions on critical force protection programs, including its partnership on the Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) and RADA positions on SOCOM SIP (special operations command system integration partner) with Anduril Industries, the USMC GBAD (ground based air defense) and the USAF ABAD (Air Base Air Defense) Programs of Record.

Leonardo DRS’s parent company and sole shareholder, Leonardo SpA, is a leading global Aerospace and Defense company. Leonardo SpA’s market position will provide access to a reshaped European defense market as well as defense markets around the world, while also establishing a home market in Israel.   

"The combination of RADA’s tactical radar capabilities and Leonardo DRS’ strength as a premier mid-tier defense provider make the Combined Company a leader in the rapidly growing force protection market, increases our addressable market, expands international opportunities and ultimately unlocks value for shareholders,” said William J. Lynn III, CEO of Leonardo DRS. “The transaction also provides flexibility for the Combined Company to add capabilities in Leonardo DRS’ core markets through targeted acquisitions and strategic investments as we expect to supplement strong organic growth with M&A and dividend distributions as part of our overall strategy going forward.” 

Dov Sella, RADA CEO: “I could not be prouder of the platform we have built throughout my nearly 20 years with RADA, culminating in this important strategic transaction with Leonardo DRS. The combination of two leading technology-focused defense companies with diversified exposure to key U.S. Department of Defense programs and an international presence creates a true win-win for RADA and Leonardo DRS shareholders. The transaction represents the first time a major U.S.-based defense company backed by a global defense prime has acquired a significant Israeli defense technology company.

"This unique transaction will strengthen the Israeli defense industry and set trends and direction for the future. For RADA specifically, joining forces with Leonardo DRS will significantly increase our competitiveness in the emerging and demanding markets we are addressing, which are dominated by strong and established players. We look forward to working alongside the Leonardo DRS team to continue driving innovation in the advanced sensing and force protection markets, and value creation for our shareholders."

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