Scottsdale, Arizona, Oct 7, 2015 — Achilles Technology Solutions LLC (ATS) has acquired Materials and Electrochemical Research Corporation (MER). This acquisition becomes a part of Achilles Technology Solutions LLC in addition to our armor subsidiary, ATS Armor LLC.
“We are very excited with this acquisition of MER,” stated Thomas Smith, CEO of ATS and Co-Founder of TASER International INC. (NASDAQ:TASR) “MER brings 30 years of new and exciting technologies embodied in 48+ current patents. These patents span new materials such as transparent armor that our ATS Armor subsidiary will leverage, dustless brakes that are under evaluation by a major European automotive company, and a titanium ore processing technology currently under license with one of the largest titanium companies in the world. These are but a few of the existing technologies that we will now be evaluating for further commercialization.”
“After successfully developing advanced technologies for 30 years, MER is fortunate to become part of ATS, who is fully committed to making MER’s appropriate existing technologies commercially successful. ATS has a young management team with extensive marketing and distribution experience that will provide additional enthusiasm for the 40 material scientists including 10 Doctoral (PhD) employees currently working for MER on new technologies. There is a significant synergism for both companies to create technology-based products and process opportunities both in the near and long term” stated Dr. Raouf Loutfy, Co-Principal and Co-Owner of MER.
“The acquisition of MER into Achilles Technologies Solutions brings together ATS Armor’s subsidiary with MER’s thirty years of diverse advanced engineered materials capabilities. The combined organizations become much stronger with MER contributing its demonstrated ultra-lightweight ceramic and cermet armor. The economic resources of ATS provides the capability to commercialize some of MER’s demonstrated technologies of composite automotive brakes, lightweight connecting rods and other drive train components as well as commercializing MER’s metal additive manufacturing (AM) capabilities to produce a variety of products. ATS also provides an economic resource capability to commercialize MER’s titanium, rare earth and nanotube technologies and energy conversion systems. These combined companies provide a very strong and exciting basis to develop and market MER’s advanced engineered materials and processing technologies here-to-fore not possible by MER alone. MER’s government contracting also including SBIR/STTR type business is expected to continue to flourish and expand under this corporate umbrella” stated Dr. James Withers, Co-Principal and Co-Owner of MER.
The acquisition was effective on October 1, 2015. Materials and Electrochemical Research LLC (MER) will remain in Tucson in their current 35,000 square foot facility and continue their already successful and profitable business in that location.
“MER will now operate as our research and development division and as their current technologies are commercialized we will add new subsidiaries as appropriate to address each new business opportunity,” stated ATS COO Brian Beckwith.
About Achilles Technology Solutions LLC:
Achilles Technologies Solutions (ATS) is a holding company, located in Scottsdale, Arizona, for two subsidiaries. Our first, ATS Armor LLC (www.ATSArmor.com), develops, assembles and markets body
armor for use in law enforcement and military markets both in the U.S. and around the world. Our body armor meets and exceeds the standards set forth in the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Standard 0101.06.
ATS Armor manufactures rigid body armor solutions to defeat the following Type threats as defined by the NIJ: IIIA, III, III++, and IV. All ATS Armor is stand-alone and incorporates a patented “QuadCurve” design that increases both safety and comfort.
Our second subsidiary is Materials and Electrochemical Research LLC (MER). MER is research and development focused and is located in Tucson, Arizona. MER’s primary area of expertise is developing advanced materials and composites for a wide variety of industries around the world. MER, since its founding in 1985, developed an abundance of technologies utilizing the U.S. governments Small Business Investment Research (SBIR) initiative to build a vast array of new and exciting technologies.
To date, MER’s focus has been on the research and development of new technologies to solve specific problems, without a primary focus for the commercial viability of what they had developed.
ATS evaluated the MER technologies and in part, due diligence consisted of an evaluation and test at a major European automotive company for dustless brakes for their 2017 model year. Also, MER recently received their first contract to replace chassis springs using their patented additive manufacturing technology. Another large European automotive group is evaluating their additive manufacturing technology for making titanium connecting rods for their turbo-diesel engines.
In addition, MER received an SBIR grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) to build a pilot plant utilizing MER’s patented Electrolytic process for processing titanium ore. The electrolytic patented MER process reduces the energy required to process the ore by 50% and reduces pollution by over 90% while recovering 97% of the metal for every ton of titanium ore processed, when compared with the existing Kroll process in use today. The pilot plant will be operational late 2015 and will be operated throughout 2016 to prove the expected advantages of the MER Electrolytic technology over the existing Kroll process technology utilized around the world.
Currently, MER has a license agreement with one of the largest titanium producers in the world to use their technology through 2031 and will pay a royalty for titanium ore processed using MER’s technology. Today, this company processes an estimated one-fifth of the world’s titanium demand that would result in license fees to ATS if they convert to the MER Electrolytic process in the future.
The key elements of the ATS growth strategy are:
To develop new armor technologies to provide the lightest solutions and the best stopping power available at a competitive cost.
To expand hard body armor market share capture, particularly internationally.
To further evaluate MER technologies and license or joint venture them as appropriate.
To focus on the titanium and rare earth ore processing technology and license or joint venture these for the greatest leverage for the company.
To acquire related businesses that will enhance our strategic position.
Our Corporate Headquarters is located at 7432 East Tierra Buena Lane, Suite 101, Scottsdale Arizona, 85260.
For investor relations information please contact Phillips W Smith, PhD by phone at 602-344-9337 Ext 106 or via email at [email protected]