September 07, 2006 at 15:35 PM EDT
MSA Expands Body Armor Line With Acquisition
North Carolina Company Provides New Opportunities for Growth in Military and Law Enforcement Markets

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- MSA (NYSE:MSA) today announced it has purchased Paraclete Armor and Equipment, Inc. of St. Pauls, N.C., a rapidly growing innovator and developer of advanced ballistic body armor used by military personnel, including Special Forces units of the U.S. military. Paraclete Armor, which employs approximately 200 people and had annual revenues of $16 million in 2005, will continue to operate from its North Carolina base of operations. The purchase price was $30 million.

The acquisition, according to John T. Ryan III, MSA chairman and CEO, immediately enhances MSA's existing line of ballistic body armor products and strategically positions the company to seek out new sales opportunities in both the military and law enforcement markets.

"This acquisition augments and accelerates our long-term growth strategy to provide a broad range of ballistic protective equipment to the military and law enforcement markets," Mr. Ryan said. "Paraclete is a premium name in body armor and has excelled in developing technologically advanced equipment that meets the demanding needs of forward force members of the military. With Paraclete now part of MSA, we're better positioned to offer our military customers and law enforcement agencies the very best in ballistic body armor."

Paraclete Armor and Equipment was founded in 1998 by Tim D'Annunzio, a former member of the elite U.S. Army parachute team, The Golden Knights. With first-hand knowledge of soldier needs and preferences in ballistic protection, Mr. D'Annunzio's efforts have focused on developing tactical vests and load bearing equipment that allow users to more efficiently and safely carry weapons, communications, medical and safety equipment. The company currently holds multiple patents on various vest designs, including a unique cut-a-way vest system that enables the vest to be removed by the wearer in seconds.

The company's most recent product development - the AV2007 Tactical Body Armor System - represents the next generation of advanced body armor. The vest features a modular design that allows 23 vest configurations, enabling users to tailor the degree of protection based on specific mission or task requirements. The vest employs state-of-art materials for enhanced protection against fragmentation and small arms projectiles.

Established in 1914, MSA is a global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of sophisticated safety products that protect people's health and safety. Sophisticated safety products typically integrate any combination of electronics, mechanical systems and advanced materials to protect users against hazardous or life-threatening situations. The company's comprehensive line of products is used by workers around the world in the fire service, homeland security, construction and other industries, as well as the military. Principal products include self-contained breathing apparatus, gas masks, gas detection instruments, head protection, respirators, thermal imaging cameras and ballistic body armor. The company also provides a broad range of consumer and contractor safety products through retail channels. These products are marketed and sold under the MSA Safety Works brand. MSA has annual sales of more than $900 million, manufacturing operations throughout the world, and more than 30 international locations. Additional information is available on the company's Web site at www.msanet.com.

Paraclete Armor and Equipment, Inc., whose products have been, as its motto states, Proven Under Fire in Afghanistan and Iraq, leads the industry in high quality protective equipment and tactical gear systems. The Releasable Assault Vest (RAV), a Paraclete original design patented in 2004, has greatly enhanced the survivability of the modern soldier in training and combat environments.

Source: MSA

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