Nishan J. Vartanian
Global safety equipment manufacturer MSA Safety Incorporated announced it has acquired U.K.-based Bristol Uniforms (“Bristol”) in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $60 million. The acquisition strengthens MSA's position as a global provider of fire service PPE products while providing an avenue to expand its business in the U.K. and key European markets. Headquartered in Bristol, U.K., Bristol Uniforms is a renowned innovator and provider of protective apparel to the fire and rescue services sector, with annual revenue of approximately $40 million. The company has earned a reputation for providing high-quality turnout gear that combines innovative designs with advanced materials. Bristol Uniforms employs nearly 200 people across four U.K. locations. keeping firefighters safe “Helping to keep firefighters safe has been a longstanding element of the MSA mission,” said Nish Vartanian, MSA Chairman, President and CEO. “The acquisition of Bristol advances that mission as well as our growth strategy to protect firefighters from head to toe with the very best in safety technology,” he said. Today’s acquisition reflects the confidence we have in our team’s ability to quickly integrate Bristol into the MSA portfolio" Mr. Vartanian said the transaction builds on the success MSA has had in improving the overall performance of its International business segment. “Our entire International team, and particularly our associates in Europe, have done a terrific job over the past three years building a more agile, efficient, and growth-focused organization. Today’s acquisition reflects the confidence we have in our team’s ability to quickly integrate Bristol into the MSA portfolio. It also recognizes the progress our team in Europe has made in executing MSA’s overall vision for growth,” he said. corporate development activities MSA Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Ken Krause, who leads the company’s corporate development activities, commented that the acquisition comes at an exciting time for MSA and its fire service business. “The fire service is a strategic market for us that has performed well through a broad range of economic cycles, including the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “Bringing Bristol under the MSA umbrella builds on our 2017 acquisition of U.S. turnout gear leader Globe, while adding another defensive element to our portfolio and providing us with an opportunity to expand MSA’s addressable market in the International segment. With MSA’s global reach and Bristol’s strong brand equity, we’re confident in our ability to reach key geographic markets and make the Bristol brand even more successful.” global utilities market Mr. Krause added that the acquisition aligns with the company’s disciplined approach for capital deployment Mr. Krause added that the acquisition aligns with the company’s disciplined approach for capital deployment. He also noted that Bristol is expected to hurdle MSA’s cost of capital by year three. Excluding acquisition-related amortization, the company is planning for adjusted earnings accretion of $0.03-$0.05 per share in the first twelve months of ownership. Bristol Uniforms is also a global manufacturer of flame-retardant, waterproof, and other protective workwear for the utility industry. Marketed under the Bell Apparel brand, this line complements MSA’s existing and broad range of offerings for the global utilities market. Complete firefighter protection Bristol Deputy Chairman Ian Mitchell commented, “We see today’s acquisition as a great fit for both our organizations. From a product synergy perspective, Bristol Uniforms aligns with MSA’s existing portfolio, enhances our reach into the global turnout gear market, and it gives us new opportunities to serve our customer base with a broader range of head-to-toe firefighter protection.” Mr. Mitchell added, “Culturally, MSA and Bristol are very well-aligned, and we are excited about today’s news as we see this acquisition as a great match for both Bristol and for MSA.” The fire service equipment brands of MSA, which include Gallet Firefighter Helmets, the M1 and G1 Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus range, Cairns Helmets, Globe Manufacturing, and now Bristol Uniforms, represent more than 460 combined years of innovation in the fire service industry, with one common mission: protecting the health and safety of firefighters.
The Board of Directors of global safety equipment manufacturer, MSA Safety Incorporated (MSA) has announced the appointment of Nishan J. Vartanian to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company and William M. Lambert to the position of Non-Executive Chairman. Planned management succession Mr. Vartanian’s election is part of a planned management succession the company announced in December 2017. Mr. Lambert, who will retire from MSA Safety Incorporated as an active full-time employee at the end of the month, has served as MSA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) since 2008 and Chairman since 2015. Mr. Vartanian is the ninth CEO of the 104-year old, Pittsburgh-based company and most recently served as President and Chief Operating Officer of MSA Safety Incorporated. Nish is a proven leader who is ideally suited to lead MSA into its second century of business" “I want to congratulate Nish on his election to CEO,” said William M. Lambert, adding “Nish is a proven leader who is ideally suited to lead MSA into its second century of business. In addition to having the experience necessary for this role, Nish possesses great strategic vision, a growth-focused mindset, and the communication and leadership skills that I know will inspire and motivate our associates to achieve great things.” high performance leadership team He adds, “I am also honored the Directors of MSA have expressed confidence in my ability to continue to serve the company in a new, non-executive capacity.” As Mr. Lambert steps down as CEO, he told shareholders at the company’s Annual Meeting that one of his proudest accomplishments was developing a high performance leadership team. Mr. Lambert said, “Without question Nish will have an excellent team supporting him in the years ahead, both at the executive level and at all positions throughout this organization.” As President and Chief Executive Officer, Nishan J. Vartanian will continue to oversee the implementation of many strategic initiatives across MSA’s global portfolio, to drive the future performance of the company. Mr. Vartanian said, “Under Bill’s leadership, we have created a very solid foundation for MSA. Our focus now is to leverage that foundation to grow our business and carry out our enduring mission, ‘That men and women may work in safety and that they, their families and communities may live in health throughout the world.’” Served in many prominent roles at MSA Over his 33-year career with the company, Mr. Vartanian has served in a broad range of roles Mr. Vartanian joined MSA Safety Incorporated in 1985, as a sales intern and shortly thereafter, moved into a sales position working in the Atlanta, Georgia. Over his 33-year career with the company, Mr. Vartanian has served in a broad range of roles. The various job profiles held include U.S. National Sales Manager, Director of North America Commercial Sales and Distribution, Vice President and Global Business Leader for MSA's Fixed Gas and Flame Detection business, Vice President of MSA North America and Senior Vice President and President, MSA Americas. Mr. Vartanian received a Bachelor's degree in Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1983. In addition to his MSA responsibilities, Mr. Vartanian serves on the Board of Trustees for the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) and is an active volunteer for the Woodlands Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults with disability and chronic illness. innovative products and strategic acquisitions Robert A. Bruggeworth, Lead Independent Director for MSA’s Board of Directors, commented, “William (Bill) has done an outstanding job in guiding the company as the Chief Executive Officer. Under his tenure, MSA has developed innovative products and executed several strategic acquisitions to support its industry-renowned positions in key markets, while also driving a step-change in profitability in recent years.” Robert adds, “Bill leaves the executive management of MSA Safety Incorporated well prepared for the future and, in Nish, we have an experienced and dynamic leader in whom I and our entire Board have full confidence.”
The Board of Directors of global safety equipment manufacturer MSA Safety has elected Nishan J. Vartanian a Director of the company. Mr. Vartanian, 57, currently serves as MSA’s President and Chief Operating Officer. His election is part of a planned management succession, and coincides with an announcement MSA Chairman and CEO William M. Lambert made last night that he intends to retire as CEO in May of 2018. Mr. Lambert announced his retirement plans at the company’s annual management dinner held in Cranberry Township, Pa. “The Board of Directors and I are very pleased to welcome Nish to the MSA Board at what is truly a dynamic time for our organization,” said Mr. Lambert. management succession plan “Nish’s election as a Director and his appointment to President and Chief Operating Officer earlier this year are expressions of the Board’s and my confidence in his abilities to lead MSA, and they are important elements of our management succession plan that will help ensure strong and experienced leadership of the company moving forward.” Mr. Vartanian joined MSA in 1985 as a sales representative and has served in a variety of capacities Mr. Vartanian joined MSA in 1985 as a sales representative, and over his 32-year career with the company has served in a variety of capacities. These include U.S. National Sales Manager; Director of North America Commercial Sales and Distribution; Vice President and Global Business Leader for MSA's Fixed Gas and Flame Detection business; Vice President of MSA North America; and Senior Vice President and President, MSA Americas. great strategic vision “Nish is a proven leader who is ideally suited to lead MSA into its second century of business,” Mr. Lambert said. “In addition to having the acumen and experience necessary for this role, Nish possesses great strategic vision, a growth-focused mindset, and the communication and leadership skills that I know will inspire and motivate our associates to achieve great things.” On his retirement plans, Mr. Lambert commented that he intends to stay involved with MSA. “I have been committed to the mission of MSA for more than 36 years, and I am extremely proud to be associated with an organization whose one and only focus is to help protect people at work so they can return home, safe and sound, at the end of each day." tremendous commitment to safety Nish and Mr. Lambert will be working closely to assure a smooth and seamless transition in 2018" "Moreover, I’m grateful to the 5,000-plus MSA associates around the world who demonstrate such a tremendous commitment to the safety of our customers every day. I feel extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to lead this great organization for nearly a decade,” he said. “I will always keep a deep interest in the company and plan to remain active as a Director and shareholder going forward. Nish and I will be working closely to assure a smooth and seamless transition in 2018.” Mr. Lambert, who turns 60 in April, joined MSA in 1981 as a design engineer. Over his 36-year career with the company, Mr. Lambert served as Project Engineer; Product Line Manager; Director of Marketing; Vice President/General Manager of the company’s former Safety Products Division; President of MSA North America; and President and Chief Operating Officer. He was elected a Director in 2007 and assumed the role of CEO in 2008. Mr. Lambert was subsequently elected Chairman in 2015. Multiple strategic acquisitions Robert A. Bruggeworth, Lead Independent Director for MSA’s Board of Directors, commented, “Bill has done an outstanding job in guiding the company as CEO. Under his tenure, MSA has grown to be a company with record sales and profitability. Bill also directed a number of strategic acquisitions that have increased MSA’s shareholder value and the company’s industry leading positions in key markets,” he said. “He leaves the executive management of MSA well prepared for the future and, in Nish, who we expect to elect as CEO next May, we have an experienced and dynamic leader in whom I and our entire Board have full confidence.” private industry environment Additional Background on Nishan J. Vartanian Mr. Vartanian received a Bachelor's degree in management from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1983. In addition to his MSA responsibilities, he serves on the governing board of The Butler County Community Development Corporation, which proactively creates an environment for private industry to create and retain jobs. Mr. Vartanian also is on the Board of Directors for the Western Pennsylvania chapter of the JDRF, a charitable organization dedicated to funding Type-1 diabetes research, and he is an active volunteer for the Woodlands Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults with disability and chronic illness. Mr. Vartanian and his wife Pam reside in Seven Fields, Pa.