3M selling military helmet and armor business for at least $91M

Dee DePass, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Business News

3M is selling its ballistic protection business, noting that its product lines including bullet-resistant helmets and body armor no longer fit with 3M's core business strategy.

The unit is a small but higher-profile unit because of its military and law enforcement business.

3M is selling the business to Avon Rubber PLC for $91 million, but officials said it could rise by another $25 million, depending on the outcome of pending contract bids.

The division sale is subject to regulatory approval and will close by year's end or early next year.

If completed, 280 3M employees will transfer to Avon Rubber, which is based in England and provides chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear respiratory protection systems for military, law enforcement and firefighting customers.

3M's ballistic-protection business generates $85 million a year in sales and specializes in ballistic helmets, helmet attachments, body armor and flat armor products sold to the military and law enforcement.


The business is part of 3M's larger Advanced Materials Business, which involves fluoropolymers, ceramics, glass bubbles and other highly engineered particles and products.

3M said in a statement last week that it decided to sell its ballistic business to "focus on other businesses within its Advanced Materials Division." It did not elaborate.

The ballistics-products division sale is the latest in a series of divestitures recently announced by 3M as it awaits the largest acquisition in 3M history.

3M said in May that it will buy the San Antonio-based wound-care products giant Acelity Inc. and its KCI subsidiaries for a stunning $6.7 billion. Acelity boasts 4,500 employees and $1.5 billion in revenue. That deal is expected to close before the end of the year.


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