Private equity firm acquires counter-drone tech maker

Government market-focused private equity firm Acorn Growth Companies has acquired Black Sage Technologies, a developer of tools to counter and defend against unmanned aerial systems.

Terms of the transaction were undisclosed. Black Sage said in a release Thursday its customers include the U.S. military and other federal agencies; other aerospace-and-defense companies; and allies and partners in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Boise, Idaho-based Black Sage builds sensors, effectors and machine intelligence tools to autonomously take control of and take down small unmanned aircraft.

Black Sage’s flagship “UASX” systems are deployed in fixed-site security, critical infrastructure protection and commercial event airspace monitoring missions. The company touts a hardware-agnostic model for its offerings to integrate sensors with its artificial intelligence-enabled tracking and defense automation systems.

Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Acorn Growth exclusively focuses on middle-market companies that operate in the aerospace, defense and intelligence markets. The firm has closed four investment funds since its first one in 2006, including the most recent fund completed last year for an undisclosed size.

Acorn Growth’s two portfolio companies in the defense electronics arena include radar and satellite communication system provider TSS Solutions, and secure network equipment maker CIS.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also connect with him on LinkedIn.

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