Behrman bolsters defense platform

New York- and San Francisco-based Behrman Capital has acquired Hunter Defense Technologies, a maker of military and “homeland defense” products, for $90 million (€71 million).

The deal comes seven months after Behrman Capital’s acquisition of ILC Industries, a Bohemia, New York, maker of components for the aerospace and defense industries, for $303 million.


Based in Solon, Ohio, Hunter Defense provides air filtration and heating products to the US Department of Defense, according to a press release. The air filtration products are designed to protect against nuclear, biological and chemical attacks. The company also makes heating equipment for military vehicles, tents and shelters.


Hunter Defense chief executive officer Vince Nardy and others senior managers participated in the transaction.


“The business is well positioned to grow in response to the increased focus on homeland security,” Behrman Capital managing partner Grant Behrman said in the statement.


Founded in 1992 by brothers Darryl and Grant Behrman, one of Behrman Capital’s first investments was in Condor Systems, a defense contractor.


Other US private equity firms are looking for growth in companies that supply goods and services related to homeland defense, as well. Washington, DC-based Paladin Capital manages what it calls a “homeland security fund.” The firm lists James Woolsey, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1993 to 1995, and Kenneth Minihan, and Air Force general and the director of the National Security Agency from 1996 to 1999, as principals.


Last year, Bear Stearns Merchant Banking teamed with former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s Giuliani Capital Partners to invest $300 million in security and public-safety deals.


The most well known private investor in defense-related companies is The Carlyle Group.


Behrman Capital also focuses on information technology, business services, contract manufacturing and outsourcing. In 2001 the firm closed a $1.2 billion fund. In February 2002 Darryl Behrman died unexpectedly of a heart attack.