IAI buys 50% of tactical drone co BlueBird
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has announced that it signed an agreement today to acquire 50% of the equity of BlueBird Aero Systems, which it describes as "a leading UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) developer and integrator in the small tactical arena." BlueBird sells its products to Israeli security forces and to customers worldwide, Trend reports with reference to Globes.
IAI is acquiring the holdings of Indian company Piramal Technologies SA from India and shares held by Fiberless Access and BlueBird CEO Ronen Nadir. Nadir will continue to hold 50% of BlueBird and to serve as CEO of the company.
IAI refused to disclose to "Globes" financial details of the deal, saying that it was maintaining confidentiality at the request of the other parties to it. It is estimated, however, that the amount is close to NIS 100 million.
IAI's announcement states, "Together with Bluebird, IAI plans to bring innovative and groundbreaking VTOL technologies to market. This acquisition is part of the implementation of IAI’s strategy in the UAS sector and a significant potential IAI foresees in the small tactical UAS market for military, HLS, and commercial applications. The acquisition will enable IAI to grow its operations and revenues, accelerate technological developments while lowering costs, reduce time to market process, and improve competitiveness."
"Bluebird brings advanced technological capabilities in the small tactical UAS world and has been fortunate to supply its systems to numerous customers around the world," Nadir said. "Along with IAI’s vast technological and innovative abilities and its infrastructure and world market access, we will continue to grow the company and extend its market share."
A year ago, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. together with Avichai Stolero beat IAI to te acquisition of small UAVs company Aeronautics, paying NIS 850 million for the company, after which they delisted it.
BlueBird Aero Systems was founded in 2002. It employs several dozen people in the Kadima Industrial Zone near Netanya.