Deal Watch: Massif snags Army contract for outdoor gear

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Thursday, October 01, 2009
BY JON BELL

A FEW YEARS ago, after the Ashland-based clothing company Massif Mountain Gear had already been selling its fire-resistant soft-shell jackets to individual units of the U.S. Army, executive vice president Chris Wasgatt got an email from the Army's top brass.

We know about your gear, the message said. We need to talk.

"I didn't know what to think at first," Wasgatt says. "These people could either place an order for a million jackets … or ban our gear and put us out of business."

Turns out the Army had no plans to put the firm out of business. Instead, they'd heard so much great feedback from soldiers about Massif's clothing — its comfort, breathability and range of motion — that they wanted to outfit all Army aviators in the gear. 

Fast-forward through a rigorous design, testing and procurement process, and Massif announced in August that the Army had chosen five of its garments — soft-shell jackets, pants and vests — to be part of its Fire Resistant Environmental Ensemble. The FREE multilayer system of cold weather garments aims to keep aviators and combat vehicle crews comfortable while also protecting them from flame hazards.

Massif, which employs close to 60 management, sales and design staff in Ashland, has already sold more than 100,000 jacket and pants sets to the Army; the company will begin filling orders under the new contract in January 2010, Wasgatt says.

Founded by Grand Teton National Park climbing ranger Randy Benham in 1999 partly to provide rangers there with high-performance, fire-resistant clothing — required gear for helicopter rescues — Massif also designed the Army Combat Shirt. Wasgatt says more than 1 million of the shirts, which have helped protect soldiers from IED-related fires in Iraq and Afghanistan, have already been sold.

Massif also now designs and supplies gear for the Air Force, Navy, FBI, NASA and other government agencies.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
PRICE EXP. CLOSE BUYER / PARENT (HQ) SELLER / PARENT (HQ) ANNOUNCED
$850M Q3 Precision Castparts (Portland) Carlton Forge Works and Arcturus Manufacturing (CA) 8/27
$40M Q3 Alpha Broadcasting (Portland) Radio stations KINK, KUPL, KUFO and KCMD/CBS(NY) 8/10
$38M Q3 Home Federal Bank (ID) Community First Bank/Prineville Bancorporation (Prineville) 8/8
$21.8M Q3 Cavco Industries (AZ) Woodburn plant, other assets, Fleetwood Ent./LaGrande 8/27
ND Q3 Advantage Dental (Redmond) Hayden Family Dentistry (Eugene) 8/12
ND Q3 Idexx Laboratories (ME) VDIC (Clackamas) 8/17
ND Q3 Pacific Seafood Group (Clackamas) Salmolux (WA) 8/13
ND Q3 Sheppard Motors (Eugene) Hyundai franchise/Kendall Auto Group (Eugene) 8/6
CAPITAL RAISING AND CONTRACTS
PRICE (TYPE) COMPANY (HQ) / LEADERSHIP INVESTOR (HQ) ANNOUNCED
$258.7 (common stock) Umpqua Holdings (Portland)/Ray Davis Stock investors 8/19
$34.5M (public offering) AVI BioPharma (Corvallis)/Leslie Hudson Stock investors 8/25
$22.2M (stimulus funds for electric power stations) Cascade Sierra Solutions (Coburg)/Sharon Banks U.S. Dept of Energy 8/5
$21.3M (hybrid vehicle energy stimulus funds) EnerG2 (WA)/Rick Luebbe, with Oregon Freeze Dry (Albany)/Herbert Aschkenasy U.S. Dept of Energy 8/5
$20M (Portland East Side streetcar contract) Oregon Iron Works (Clackamas)/Corey Yraguen City of Portland 8/14
$16M (series C funding) VirtenSys (Beaverton)/Ahmet Houssein Scottish Equity (England), Celtic House Venture (Canada), Gimv (Belgium) 8/11
$11.3M (highway contract) Morse Brothers, DBA Knife River (Tangent)/Dave Bull ODOT 8/3
$11M (series B funding) Advanced Inquiry Systems (Hillsboro)/Michael Wright OVP Venture Partners (Portland), TL Ventures (CA ), Intel Capital (CA), Applied Ventures (CA ), KT Ventures (CA ), Northwest Ventures (CA) 8/18
$7.2M (surveillance system order) FLIR (Portland)/Earl Lewis Indian Air Force (India) 8/5
$6M (series B funding) ClearAccess (Vancouver)/Ken Hood Blade Ventures (CA), Buerk Dale Victor (Portland), DFJ Frontier (CA) 8/18
$4.2M (Timberline Lodge stimulus funds) Mount Hood National Forest U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 8/6
$3.9M (highway contract) Eagle-Elsner (Sherwood)/Richard Eagle ODOT 8/11
$1.5M (river locks refurbishing contract) Climax Portable Machine Tools (Newberg)/Geoff Gilmore U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 8/11
$1.3M (stimulus funds) OHSU (Portland)/Joe Robertson Federal government 8/3
ND Massif Mountain Gear Company (Ashland)/Randy Benham U.S. Army 8/11
REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS
PRICE BUYER / PARENT (HQ) REAL ESTATE (LOCATION) / SELLER (HQ) ANNOUNCED
$300M The Campbell Group (Portland) 140,000 acres forestland (OR)/Weyerhaeuser (WA) 8/13
$4M Columbia Crest Apartments (Portland) 56 apartments (Troutdale) Columbia Crest Townhomes (Portland) 8/10
$2.4M Seven 12 Properties (Portland) 33,000-sq.-ft. apt. building (Hillsboro)/Capital Pacific Bancorp (Portland) 8/31
$2.3M City County Insurance Services (Salem) 13,600-sq.-ft. office building (Tigard)/Haines Building (Tigard) 8/24
$2.2M William Emberlin (Portland) 38,000-sq.-ft. industrial building (Portland)/ITA (Portland) 8/10
$2.1M Care Access (Portland) 15,700-sq.-ft. med. office bldg. (Gresham)/Portland Adventist Medical Center, (Portland) 8/10
$1.3M Kashi Management (Tigard) 11,000-sq.-ft. office building (Portland)/Hancar (Portland) 8/24
$1.3M Samoan Seventh Day Ind. Church (Portland) Three buildings (Milwaukie)/Wycliffe Bible Translators (FL) 8/3
$1.2M Dash Investments (Portland) Meadows Apartments (Beaverton)/Tamela Cantor (Portland) 8/17
$1.1M MBC Investments (Gladstone) 8,400-sq.-ft shopping strip (Medford)/Capital Medical (CA) 8/3
$1M 5625 SE Gladstone (Gladstone) 14-unit apt. building (Gladstone)/DJM Holdings III (Salem), JWR Holdings (Portland) 8/17
$1M Merrill Schneider (Portland) City Water Office Building (Portland)/Citizen's Graphic Arts (Portland) 8/10
$800,000 Fit Right Northwest (Portland) 5,000-sq.-ft. retail (Portland)/American Industries (Portland) 8/27
 

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