Cindi Andrews reports:
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.