Smith & Wesson Holdings Corp said it would buy privately held Universal Safety Response Inc (USR) in a cash and stock deal, for up to $26.2 million to enter the rapidly growing perimeter security market. 


USR, founded in 1994 and headquartered in Franklin, TN, is the original creator of the GRAB vehicle safety barrier, which Smith & Wesson said is the only active barrier product that meets the Federal Highway Administration's TL-2 safety test, the Department of State's K12 L3 security test, and the Department of Defense ASTM M50 Shallow Mount security test. USR now has a large portfolio of products and services and serves a variety of clients in the defense, transportation and petro-chemical industries, as well as airports,


The company said it would pay up to 9.7 million common shares and up to $26.2 million in cash to complete the deal for USR.

Michael F. Golden, president and CEO of Smith & Wesson, said, “We are excited about the opportunities that this acquisition creates for both Smith & Wesson and for USR. USR has built a solid reputation in the perimeter security market based on its differentiated GRAB product and its unique ability to deliver integrated security systems solutions to an impressive list of government agencies and blue-chip customers. USR has assembled a strong group of professionals in the perimeter security industry. In addition, USR's broad product and service portfolio, combined with its management's expertise in perimeter security, gives us a strong platform for future growth. Growing demand for enhanced security measures at government, military and corporate facilities presents USR with numerous opportunities. In addition, there are opportunities in areas of transportation, railroad crossings, work zone safety, ballistics, law enforcement, energy producing facilities and international markets yet to be addressed.”


In conjunction with the acquisition, USR founder, Matthew Gelfand, will continue to serve as president of USR. He will continue to lead the USR operation and will head Smith & Wesson's efforts to develop USR's security-related businesses.


Gelfand said, “I am excited about USR becoming 'a Smith & Wesson company' and about becoming a stockholder of Smith & Wesson. These are two well-established and highly regarded brands in their respective industries, and the value proposition to customers on a combined basis is compelling. We believe that the Smith & Wesson brand name around the world will help open markets for USR's security systems solutions offerings. On a personal level, I am especially proud to become part of a company and a management team for which I have developed great respect. As the founder of USR, it is with careful consideration that I, along with our Board of Directors, have made the decision to sell the company, and it is the power of the Smith & Wesson brand, combined with the people inside the company that served as the deciding factors. I look forward to our combined future.”


USR operates primarily in two facilities in Franklin, TN, with an expanding workforce of approximately 110 employees. The organization consists of internal, senior level sales professionals headed by Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Wesley Foss, as well as account managers that focus on client based solutions, including the latest and most innovative products and services. In addition, USR has a full complement of project managers and design and program engineers, focused on fully integrated total perimeter security solutions.


The programming expertise involves a variety of technical disciplines, which enable multiple security systems to operate in conjunction with each other. In addition, the USR team includes professional construction site project managers to assure timely, high quality site build-outs. It is this combination of professionals that defines USR's unique business model of providing total system design, product selection and integration, and site installation and maintenance.