Denver, Colo., December 19, 2022– The Forbes M+A Group (“Forbes”), is pleased to announce it has served as exclusive advisor to Liteye Systems (“Liteye”) on its sale to Highlander Partners, L.P. (“Highlander”). Liteye is a multi-mission defense company that develops, integrates, and manufactures Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“C-UAS”) designed to neutralize hostile drone threats protecting lives and critical infrastructure. Liteye also manufactures a complete line of thermal cameras, head mounted displays and is the exclusive world-wide provider of advanced radars designed to provide class-leading protection against both conventional and asymmetric/terrorist threats. Earlier this year, Highlander formed High Point Aerotechnologies LLC (“High Point”), a division established specifically to focus on and pursue the rapidly evolving C-UAS and UAS industries; Liteye represents the first investment made in connection with High Point.
Founded in 2000 with a focus on selling thermal cameras and head-mounted displays to military and law enforcement agencies, Liteye shifted its focus in 2016 to C-UAS technologies. The Company has since grown into a leading manufacturer and integrator of C-UAS systems that detect, identify, track, and disrupt hostile unmanned aircraft. The Company operates as an integrator of best-in-class technology through exclusive strategic partnerships, offering highly configurable and hardware-agnostic that are customized to fit mission objectives and customer requisites. Additionally, this modular approach eliminates hardware dependencies and facilitates technology upgrades to ensure that Liteye’s systems are always equipped with the latest cutting-edge technologies. The Company has long-term relationships with U.S. and international government agencies.
Forbes was retained by and advised Liteye co-founders Kenneth Geyer and Tom Scott to reach two critical outcomes – provide liquidity to early investors and raise additional capital to propel the company forward. This successful outcome will enable Liteye to answer the increasing demand for sophisticated systems to protect critical infrastructure. Geyer and Scott will remain with Liteye, running day-to-day operations and planning the company’s strategic direction moving forward.
“The Forbes team understood that we wanted a partner able to see extraordinary value in all aspects of Liteye’s vision. Forbes utilized their knowledge of the landscape and relationships within the defense industry to identify and consummate a deal with the perfect partner,” said Geyer and Scott. “The need for advanced multi-mission / multi-domain solutions, to include C-UAS, is more pressing than ever, and we believe that High Point and the broader Highlander team bring the necessary government and military relationships, industry experience, and long-term financial resources to support us in driving Liteye forward.”
According to a study by Statista, the size of the C-UAS drone market is forecast to increase exponentially. In 2021, it was roughly 1.57 billion U.S. dollars and, by 2031, it is expected to reach 6.44 billion U.S. dollars, at a growth rate of 15.18%.
“The C-UAS market is very dynamic, making it critical for us (Forbes) to ideate and promote the most valuable messaging to the investment community to successfully deliver on management’s goals,” said Dan Pellegrino, Forbes’ Managing Director. “Understanding how Liteye’s technology provides a superior solution to the market compared to many other C-UAS platforms, enabled us (Forbes) to proactively identify and engage the right investor ensuring Liteye’s continued leadership in the counter-drone industry,” added Jon Wiley, Managing Director for Forbes.
About The Forbes M+A Group
The Forbes M+A Group, founded in 2004, with offices in Denver, CO, Salt Lake City, UT, and Nashville, TN, is an award-winning investment bank with expertise in mergers and acquisitions, raising capital, and financial restructuring within the middle market. Senior advisors at The Forbes M+A Group have 250+ years and $85+ billion of combined transaction experience across a wide variety of industries and around the globe. The Forbes M+A Group has been recognized as the M&A Middle Market Firm of the Year for the past seven years and was named one of the fastest-growing private companies in America by Inc. Magazine. For more information regarding this transaction, contact Dan Pellegrino at Dan.Pellegrino@forbes-partners.com or Jon Wiley at Jon.Wiley@forbes-partners.com.
About Liteye Systems
Liteye Systems, Inc. is a leading technology manufacturer and integrator of multi-domain and multi-mission defense systems that protect lives and critical infrastructure from real-world threats. The Company’s defense systems include military and commercial C-UAS, drone sense and warn systems, rugged high-resolution head-mounted displays, micro imaging viewfinders, thermal surveillance systems, covert surveillance systems, electronic warfare packages, radar systems, and fire control software solutions. For more information, visit www.liteye.com.
About Highlander Partners
Highlander Partners, L.P. is a Dallas-based private investment firm with approximately $3 billion of assets under management. The firm focuses on making investments in businesses in targeted industries in which the principals of the firm have significant operating and investing experience. Highlander Partners uses a buy-and-build investment approach, creating value by helping companies grow both organically and through acquisitions. For more information, visit www.highlander-partners.com.