AeroVironment Inc. plans to acquire Arcturus UAV Inc. in a cash and stock deal valued at $405 million, an announcement that sent AeroVironment stock up more than 30 percent.

With the transaction, the Simi Valley unmanned aircraft company brings into its portfolio a firm with complementary capabilities.


Founded in 2004 and based in Petaluma, Arcturus UAV designs and manufactures Group 2 and Group 3 drones. Those groups are for unmanned aircraft weighing between 21 pounds but no more than 1,320 pounds. AeroVironment already provides aircraft in the Group 1 segment.


Arcturus UAV’s products include the JUMP-20, a multi-mission, medium endurance vertical takeoff and landing system requiring no launch equipment or runway and the T-20, a multi-mission, medium endurance catapult-launched system, according to a release from AeroVironment. Arcturus has about 270 employees.


Wahid Nawabi, chief executive of AeroVironment, said the company was excited about the opportunities the acquisition brings to accelerate its growth into the valuable Group 2 and 3 segments.


“Group 2 and 3 (unmanned aircraft system) and services, collectively, potentially represent more than $1 billion in annual contract value, according to an independent forecast,” Nawabi said in a statement. 


“Combining our highly complementary products and technologies will enhance our portfolio, deliver top-and bottom-line growth, and enable us to provide customers with a complete set of Group 1 through 3 UAS, tactical missile systems, high-altitude pseudo-satellites and unmanned ground vehicle solutions.”

The acquisition was announced Wednesday. Shares of AeroVironment (AVAV) closed up Thursday $29.12, or 30.3 percent, to $125.29 on the Nasdaq, on a day when that market closed down at a fraction of a percent.