Bucks virtual-reality firm weighs sale, options

Environmental Tectonics Corp., based in Southampton, Bucks County, which makes virtual-reality and augmented-reality emergency-response training simulators for the U.S. military and other clients, has set up a special board committee to “explore potential strategic alternatives,” the company said in a statement.

ETC, which employs around 280, said it would consider “an acquisition, merger, business combination, or other strategic transaction,” or might decide not to change.

Sales slipped to below $40 million in 2015, from over $60 million a year in 2013, before rising modestly last year as orders increased, particularly from the company’s Poland-based subsidiary Aerospace Industries SP. ZO.O., according to ETC’s 2017 annual report. The stock has mostly traded below $1 (over the counter) in the past two years. ETC owners include H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, former owner of the Inquirer, Daily News, and philly.com.

Directors are “encouraged by the company’s recent performance,” chairman George K. Anderson said in a statement. So it is now “prudent to explore strategic alternatives to determine the best opportunities for enhancing shareholder value” — while still “supporting the company’s management and employees in their ongoing efforts to deliver its best-in-class aerospace and commercial industrial products to our valued customers,” Anderson added.

ETC will continue to serve clients while professionals are reviewing alternatives, Robert L. Laurent, Jr., ETC’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

Stout Risius Ross Advisors LLC, Chicago, is advising the company on its strategic choices, with Philadelphia-based law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.