The O’Gara Group Inc., a maker of armored vehicles and other security products, completed its purchase of BAE Systems’ Fairfield-based commercial armored vehicles division on Monday, the company announced.
Fewer than 20 BAE employees were laid off prior to the $10 million sale, O’Gara Group CEO Bill O’Gara said; the remaining 110 employees will remain. The Fairfield facility will continue to make armored SUVs for diplomats, as will the company’s other plant in San Antonio, Texas.
“It expands our capacity,” O’Gara said. “Our focus will be global.”
The company will be renamed O’Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt Armoring Co. LLC – the same name the Fairfield business carried before it was sold in 2001. O’Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt was one of the world’s largest armored vehicle makers, with 220 employees, when a company called Kroll-O’Gara sold it to Armor Holding in 2001 for $56.5 million in cash and stock.
BAE acquired Armor Holding in 2007, but the global defense giant has been reducing its U.S. workforce the past couple of years, citing the wind-down of several long-term projects and cuts in government defense spending.
Brothers Bill and Thomas O’Gara, who had been in leadership positions at O’Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt Armoring, began the O’Gara Group in 2003 to provide security products and services. In 2012, the O’Gara Group leased a 36,000-square-foot Fairfield facility to expand Protection Devices Inc., a San Antonio-based armored-vehicle business it bought.
To let West Chester and Liberty Township residents catch up with the news that they need to know, WestChesterBuzz.com will list and link to all of last week’s top local stories every Monday.
MetroParks breaks ground on VOA athletic complex – The Butler County Visitors Bureau and MetroParks of Butler County held an official ground breaking ceremony last Wednesday for their $3 million project that will add 22 multipurpose natural grass athletic fields on 100 acres of Voice of America Park in West Chester Township. The fields, which border Butler-Warren and Tylersville roads, are expected to be available for use by September of 2014.
Lakota Local Schools maintains rating – Michael D. Clark reported on the annual Ohio Report Cards – Southwest Ohio’s second-largest school system maintained its top state ranking while the area’s longest financially embattled district finally dropped a category, according to the annual Ohio Report Cards, released last Wednesday. Butler County’s Lakota Schools earned an Excellent with Distinction rating despite historically deep budget cuts in recent years.
BAE to sell commercial armored vehicles business – In a $10 million deal, defense contractor BAE Systems announced it is selling off its locally based commercial armored vehicles business that employs 134 workers, Alexander Coolidge of The Cincinnati Enquirer reported last Tuesday.
Zoning Commission approves ‘high end’ apartments in West Chester – Last week, the West Chester Zoning Commission approved two proposed apartment developments that could possibly feature rents greater than $1,200 per month. One of those developments, currently called The Cascades, will have its zoning change go before the West Chester Township Board of Trustees on Nov. 13.
White House Inn becomes Casa Bianca – The owner of Symmes Tavern in Fairfield has bought the venerable White House Inn in West Chester and has turned it into an Italian restaurant, Polly Campbell of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported last week. The name is simply a translation: Casa Bianca. The restaurant will have traditional Italian and traditional American on the menu.
Colerain defeats Lakota West in battle of unbeatens – In a battle of the top two teams in The Cincinnati Enquirer coaches’ poll, senior quarterback Alfred “L.A.” Ramsby carried Colerain from an early 17-0 deficit to a 57-44 win against Lakota West at Cardinal Stadium on a wet and chilly night in Colerain Township.
Supreme Court OK’s Ohio early voting – The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for Ohioans to cast early in-person absentee ballots on the final three days before the Nov. 6 election, Barry M. Horstman of The Cincinnati Enquirer reported last Tuesday.
Bridge replacement on Rialto Road is complete – The Butler County Engineer’s Office announced last Tuesday that Rialto Road in West Chester Township is now open. A portion of the road had been closed since early July as the Rialto Road bridge over Mill Creek was replaced.
Lakota teen’s been to Barrackville and Romney – Matthew King, a 17-year-old Lakota East High school senior, recently created a Youtube Video highlighting two small towns in America, that just so happened to be named Romney and Barrackville. In the video, King talks to people on the street, through car windows, and people putting groceries in their cars about their views on the towns name, asking questions with only slight political implications.
Phoenix will phase out West Chester, Florence campuses – The University of Phoenix will phase out classes in West Chester and Florence, impacting 236 students, Cliff Peale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reported last week. The sites have stopped accepting applications, and current students will have the choice of finishing their programs in traditional classrooms or converting to online classes.
In a $10 million deal, defense contractor BAE Systems announced on Tuesday it is selling off its locally based commercial armored vehicles business that employs 134 workers.
The acquiring company is Sycamore Township-based O’Gara Group Inc., which provides security equipment and services to commercial and government clients. The transaction will close by the end of the year.
The deal marks something of a reunion for chairman Thomas O’Gara and chief executive Bill O’Gara. Both helped build O’Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt Armoring Co. into one of the world’s largest armored vehicle makers before selling it to Armor Holding in 2001, which was acquired by BAE in 2007.
CEO Bill O’Gara vowed to grow the business.
“We look forward to continuing the growth of our commercial armoring business and expanding the transparent armor business,” he said in a statement. “This acquisition not only restores our heritage, it also advances our position and agility in the commercial armor market.”
Earlier this year, the O’Gara Group leased a 36,000-square-foot Fairfield facility to expand an armoring business it acquired, Protection Devices Inc. of San Antonio, which makes fully armored passenger vehicles, mostly for government officials working in dangerous circumstances.
If the latest deal reflects O’Gara Group ramping its business up, it also marks BAE Systems dialing its business back.
The commercial sale comes less than three weeks after BAE Systems announced it would lay off 160 workers by March 31 as it shut down local military production and transferred the work designing and making armored cabs, turrets and accessories to a factory in Sealey, Texas, outside Houston.
BAE Systems has been cutting positions over the past two years as it experiences a marked decrease in production volumes. Factors include the winding down of some long-standing programs, leaner defense budgets and the recession.
“The decision to sell the commercial armored vehicles business and transition our remaining production work from our West Chester site to Sealy improves our competitiveness,” said Erwin Bieber, president of BAE Systems Inc.’s land and armaments, in a statement.
Defense contractor BAE Systems is ending military production at its West Chester plant and will transfer the work to Sealy, Texas, by April. About 160 employees will lose their jobs as a result, beginning in November, the company said this morning.
All commercial armored vehicle, transparent armor and JLTV engineering work will continue in West Chester, BAE said.
“The decision to transition the military production work from our West Chester site to Sealy streamlines our organization, reduces cost and improves our competitive position,” Frank Pope, president of BAE Systems Inc.’s Land & Armaments Sector, said in a statement.
The company, which once employed 1,800, has been cutting positions over the past two years as it experienced a marked decrease in production volumes. Factors include the winding down of some long-standing programs, leaner defense budgets, and the recession.
BAE Systems acquired the military production business through its purchase of Armor Holdings Inc. in 2007.
The military production business produces armored cabs, turrets and armor parts supporting various armored military ground vehicles and construction equipment for the U.S. Armed Forces and original equipment manufacturers of military vehicles.
While Butler County has lost nearly 1,300 jobs in the first six months of 2011 and an additional 400 impending job losses are expected to occur in West Chester Township by the fall, there is still confidence among the trustees and the township administrator that the community will continue to thrive.
“While the economy has crashed and the state of Ohio has lost between 400,000 to 600,000 jobs … in the two recent recessions that we have went through, in West Chester we have added $2.2 billion in new commercial construction, $24 million square feet of new commercial property and over 26,000 jobs,” West Chester Trustee George Lang said referring to the two recessions experienced this decade.
In May of 2011, however, two local businesses, BAE Systems and CEVA Logistics US Inc., announced plans to slash another 400 jobs this fall.
For BAE, which employed roughly 1,800 workers at the start of 2010, the latest cuts could drop its total workforce to 430 people. Meanwhile, CEVA Logistics is closing its local operations after Dell Computers decided to eliminate its 194 positions from the West Chester facility and transfer it to a new location.
In addition to that, Lakota Local Schools has recently eliminated 78 positions for the 2011-2012 school year and Liz Clairborne officials announced in June that it was going to close its West Chester based distribution center, which employs roughly 400 workers, in 2012.
“Many people want to focus on the job losses and rightfully so because it does significantly impact peoples’ lives,” West Chester Township Administrator Judith Boyko said. “However, I think that it is important to remember that we are in the fourth year of an economic downturn, yet the majority of West Chester businesses have sustained their operations amidst this volatile economy.” (more…)
According to Cincinnati.com, BAE Systems will shed about 200 jobs through September. The cuts will take the local company’s employment of 630 to around 430 persons.
This past September, the West Chester/Fairfield company announced that it would reduce its workforce by an additional 300 positions by the end of 2010. After those reductions, the company had reduced its employment to about 850 persons.
Information provided by Cincinnati.com shows that the local operation, which employed about 1,800 people at the start of 2010, has experienced a marked decrease in production volumes due to the winding down of some long-standing programs, leaner defense budgets and a challenging economy.
“Our leaders recognize the impact that reductions have on our employees, their families and the community at large. However, it is critical that we position ourselves for future growth and secure new programs with a leaner workforce,” Chris Chambers, vice president and general manager of the Tactical Wheeled Vehicle Product Line, told Cincinnati.com.
BAE Systems has received a $15 million U.S. government contract to produce commercial armored vehicles at its armoring plant in West Chester. Production will begin in the spring of 2011 and is expected to completed by December of 2011.
This order is a testament to the confidence our customers have in BAE Systems’ ability to produce commercial armored vehicles that are both inconspicuous and armor protected, providing the vehicles’ occupants with the extra security and peace of mind they require,” said Brian Dawes, program manager for BAE Systems’ Commercial Armored Vehicles.
The commercial sedans, vans, trucks and SUVs BAE Systems armors are designed to appear like original equipment manufacturer vehicles, but in actuality, they are completely disassembled first, before being rebuilt and reinforced with armor components.
According to its press release, BAE Systems holds the coveted distinction of being the largest supplier of commercial armored vehicles to the U.S. Government. The company’s heritage in commercial armored vehicles dates back to the 1940s when it designed its first armored vehicle for U.S. President Harry S. Truman. Since then, BAE Systems has grown its commercial armoring business into a world-class operation with customers around the globe.
Less than one week ago, BAE Systems in West Chester announced that it has received a $7 million order from Daimler Trucks North America to produce armor kits for M915A5 military line haul tractors.
The West Chester plant also made news in early September when it announced that it would reduce its workforce by an additional 300 positions.
This order is for 380 A-kits, which includes a reinforced armored cab and chassis engineered to provide additional protection to soldiers inside the vehicle, as well as support the added weight of supplemental armor panels.
“This work shows how BAE Systems, as a leading designer, developer and producer of survivability systems, is able to leverage its expertise and work with original equipment manufacturers such as Daimler Trucks North America to produce armored vehicles that are protecting U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq,” said Don Dutton, vice president of BAE Systems’ Platform Survivability business.
BAE Systems received an initial $32 million contract for M915A5 A-kits from DTNA in September 2009.
The company also produces B-kits for M915A5 trucks as determined and requested by the U.S. Army. The B-kit consists of field installed, customizable and removable armor panels which interface with the A-kit to provide maximum protection to the crew.
Numerous news sources reported, yesterday, Sept. 8, that the BAE Systems’ plant in West Chester announced that it would reduce its workforce by an additional 300 positions.
The company sent out its official press release earlier and it reads:
BAE Systems to Reduce Workforce at its Cincinnati Area Business
BAE Systems regrets to announce that it will be reducing its workforce at its Platform Survivability business, located in West Chester, OH by approximately 300 additional positions. The reductions will begin in mid-September, and will continue throughout the remainder of the year.
The reductions are due in part to the loss of some key contracts, including the U.S. Army’s Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) contract, but leaner defense budgets and a challenging global economy are also contributing factors.
“It’s never easy to make reductions as we realize the impact these decisions have on our employees and their families. Although it is disheartening, we must face the fact that in order to remain competitive, we must control costs and align and adjust our business to current customer needs and production requirements,” said Don Dutton, vice president of BAE Systems’ Platform Survivability business. (more…)
Defense contractor BAE Systems announced that it will cut another 300 jobs at its armoring plant in West Chester due in part of the lost of a key Army truck contract.
The plant will begin to lay off employees this month and will continue make reductions through the winter.
“It’s never easy to make reductions as we realize the impact these decisions have on our employees and their families,” said Don Dutton, vice president of BAE Systems’ Platform Survivability business, in a statement.
“Although it is disheartening, we must face the fact that in order to remain competitive, we must control costs and align and adjust our business to current customer needs and production requirements.”
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, after the reductions, BAE, which employed about 1,800 at the start of this year, will have reduced employment to about 850.
The company will provide advanced notice to the affected workers. The company will also offer severance pay and help finding jobs to those affected.