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N.C.-Based Body Armor Firm Sold To Pennsylvania Company For $30M

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ST. PAULS, N.C. — Paraclete Armor and Equipment

, a designer and manufacturer of advanced body armor, has been sold to a Pennsylvania firm for $30 million.

Paraclete, which employs some 200 people, is based in Robeson County. It generated $15 million in revenues in 2005.

MSA (NYSE: MSA), which is based in Pittsburgh, made the acquisition. The company is an international manufacturer of safety equipment with global revenues of $900 million.

Paraclete will continue to be based in North Carolina.

The company was founded by Tim D'Annunzio, an Army veteran and former member of the elite Golden Knights parachute team, in 1998. D'Annunzio holds two patents as part of his design of specially designed body army for use by the military and law enforcement agencies.

Paraclete (based on a Greek word that means "one who consoles" or "one who intercedes on our behalf", according to Wikipedia) focuses on the design and manufacture of personal tactical vests and load-bearing equipment to help its wearers use equipment more safely and efficiently.

D'Annunzio's patents cover a strap connector system and a cut-away vest release system.

"This acquisition augments and accelerates our long-term growth strategy to provide a broad range of ballistic protective equipment to the military and law enforcement markets," said John Ryan III, chairman and chief executive officer of MSA. "Paraclete is a premium name in body armor and has excelled in developing technologically advanced equipment that meets the demanding needs of forward force members of the military. With Paraclete now part of MSA, we're better positioned to offer our military customers and law enforcement agencies the very best in ballistic body armor."

According to MSA, Paraclete's latest body armor system permits 23 configurations to meet mission or task requirements.

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