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KippsDeSanto & Co. Advises Ballard Technology, Inc. on its Sale to Astronics Corporation

KippsDeSanto & Co. is pleased to send you the attached press release announcing the acquisition of our client, Ballard Technology, Inc. (“Ballard”), by Astronics Corporation (“Astronics”).  Astronics acquired Ballard to expand its specialized highly-engineered products and technologies offered to aerospace and defense customers.  The transaction was announced and closed on November 30, 2011.

Headquartered in Everett, Washington, Ballard is a leader in the design and production of avionics interface solutions for commercial and military aerospace applications.  Ballard’s product areas include (i) the Avionics BusBox family of self-contained embedded interface devices and rugged computers, (ii) embedded and test interface cards, (iii) peripheral databus interface devices, and (iv) CoPilot software and accessories.  These proprietary databus solutions are key to the operations and support of a wide range of military and commercial aircraft, including fixed wing, rotary wing, and unmanned systems, as well as to test, simulation, analysis, and embedded applications that interface with all industry standard protocols / interfaces.  The Company is trusted with its customers’ most critical interconnect and communication challenges supporting navigation, controls, displays, sensors, and other avionics systems.

We believe this transaction demonstrates several key trends in the aerospace and defense technology M&A environment:

  • Buyers looking to acquire proprietary technology and intellectual property to complement and expand upon existing solutions
  • Growing demand for highly-engineered data-centric products for aftermarket and OEM builds within the military and commercial aerospace markets
  • Value proposition of multiple touch points and strong relationships with a diverse array of customers on attractive platforms
  • Proven financial track record, strong profit margins, and solid growth profile remain at the forefront of industry acquisition criteria

KippsDeSanto & Co. is an investment bank focused on delivering exceptional M&A and financing transaction results for leading technology and defense companies.  For more information on KippsDeSanto & Co., please visit www.kippsdesanto.com.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss how KippsDeSanto & Co. can help you achieve your strategic objectives.  For more information on this particular transaction, please contact one of the deal team leaders below.

KippsDeSanto & Co. Deal Team Leaders

Michael J. Misantone
Director
703.442.1410
mmisantone@kippsdesanto.com 

 Aaron M. Sharp
Vice President
703.442.1408
asharp@kippsdesanto.com

PRESS RELEASE

Astronics Acquires Avionics Interface Solutions Supplier Ballard Technology, Inc.
Addresses market for high quality, specialty avionics databus interface solutions for defense and commercial aerospace applications

EAST AURORA, N.Y., Nov 30, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) –

Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leader in advanced, high-performance lighting, electrical power and automated test systems for the global aerospace and defense industries, today announced that it has acquired privately-held Ballard Technology, Inc., an Everett, WA company that designs and produces avionics interface solutions for defense and commercial aerospace applications. Astronics acquired all of the stock of Ballard for $24 million in cash. An additional purchase consideration of up to $5.5 million may be paid by Astronics if Ballard achieves certain revenue growth targets over each of the next five years.

Founded in 1986, Ballard is projecting 2011 annual revenue of approximately $11.0 million, achieving a compound annual growth rate during the previous three years of over 20%. Ballard’s databus products can be used anytime avionics systems on an aircraft are upgraded.

Peter J. Gundermann, President and CEO of Astronics, commented, “The acquisition of Ballard advances our strategy to develop and maintain positions of technical leadership while diversifying the products and technologies we currently offer to our targeted aerospace and defense customers. Like us, Ballard provides highly-engineered products and has built a brand based on quality, service and innovative designs. We believe that the business has solid growth potential and our capabilities will complement their efforts. In addition, Ballard is a solidly profitable business. Our acquisition price is roughly six times projected 2011 income before tax, and we expect the acquisition to be accretive in 2012.”

ABOUT ASTRONICS CORPORATION

Astronics Corporation is a leader in advanced, high-performance lighting, electrical power and automated test systems for the global aerospace and defense industries. Astronics’ strategy is to develop and maintain positions of technical leadership in its chosen aerospace and defense markets, to leverage those positions to grow the amount of content and volume of product it sells to those markets and to selectively acquire businesses with similar technical capabilities that could benefit from our leadership position and strategic direction. Astronics Corporation, and its wholly- owned subsidiaries, Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems Corp., DME Corporation and Luminescent Systems Inc., have a reputation for high-quality designs, exceptional responsiveness, strong brand recognition and best-in-class manufacturing practices. The Company routinely posts news and other important information on its Web site at www.Astronics.com.

For more information on Astronics and its products, visit its Web site at www.Astronics.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

This news release contains forward-looking statements as defined by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. One can identify these forward-looking statements by the use of the words “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “may,” “will,” “estimate” or other similar expressions. Because such statements apply to future events, they are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include the ability of Ballard to continue its growth and achieve expected profit margins, the state of the aerospace and defense industries, the market acceptance of newly developed products, internal production capabilities, the timing of orders received, the status of customer certification processes, the demand for and market acceptance of new or existing aircraft which contain the Company’s products, customer preferences, and other factors which are described in filings by Astronics with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking information in this news release whether to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes in future operating results, financial conditions or prospects, or otherwise.

SOURCE: Astronics Corporation

Astronics Corporation

David C. Burney, 716-805-1599 ext. 159

Chief Financial Officer

Email: david.burney@astronics.com

or

Investor Relations:

Kei Advisors LLC

Deborah K. Pawlowski, 716-843-3908

Email: dpawlowski@keiadvisors.com

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