AC&A Acquired by AE Industrial Partners

Posted on August 2, 2016 James Hinds aerospace news

Private equity firm AE Industrial Partners, LLC (“AEI”) acquired Aerospace Parts Manufacturer AC&A. The PE firm investment is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida and their portfolio consists of investments in aerospace, power generation and specialty automotive companies. The newly acquired AC&A specialize in manufacturing composite and metallic parts and tooling. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

 AC&A is headquartered in Lake Forest, California, and founded in 2004; they focus on manufacturing metallic tools and carbon composite for niche markets such as unmanned aircraft. Justin Uchida, CEO of AC&A, stated “AE Industrial’s expertise and long involvement in aerospace and related technologies, along with its financial support, will help his company grow with both new and existing customers”.

Recently, AEI has had quite an active role with acquiring multiple companies. In the past year AEI has acquired Belcan LLC, specialize in technical staffing and engineering project management services; and Kellstrom Materials, supplier of parts and supply chain management for passenger airlines.

David Rowe, managing partner of AE Industrial, stated “each of AC&A’s market segments have strong potential for growth, and the company has established itself as a one-stop-shop for design, development and fabrication”.

The $680 million used to acquire AC&A came from AEI’s AE Industrials Partners Fund. As of April, AEI has raised the fund with an extra $160 million for co-investments, to invest in aerospace and related industries. That fund also invested in Belcan and Kellstrom Materials.

This move set out by AEI seems to indicate a growing trend among PE firms, whereby they increase their investments in the aerospace industry. With some analysts view the aerospace industry to become one of the major movers in middle-market deal activity. A recent example to support this view occurred in April, MTS Systems Corporation agreed to purchase PCB Group Incorporated. PCB Incorporated is manufacturer of sensors used in the aerospace and energy industries and the acquisition cost was the tune of $580 million.

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