J.F. Lehman Adds Crystal Oscillator Maker to BEI

BEI Precision Systems & Space Company, a portfolio company of J.F. Lehman & Company, has acquired Wenzel Associates.

Wenzel is a designer and manufacturer of crystal oscillators, fixed-frequency systems, integrated microwave assemblies, and synthesizers that are used in military, space, and commercial applications.

Wenzel’s crystal oscillators are used by the aerospace industry for guidance, tracking and telemetry systems; in the navigation industry for microwave landing systems (MLS) and global positioning systems (GPS) as well as radar (radio detection and ranging) systems; and in the communications industry for satellite, cellular, PCN (personal communications networks), and VSAT (very small aperture terminal) applications. The company was founded in 1978 and has a 52,000 square foot facility and headquarters in Austin, TX, and a 26,000 square foot facility (Croven Crystals) in Whitby, ON.

“The Wenzel acquisition further enhances BEI Precision’s reputation as a provider of the highest-performance advanced sensing and positioning solutions for critical applications,” said Steve Brooks, a partner at J.F. Lehman.

Wenzel is the second add-on acquisition completed by BEI since being acquired by J.F. Lehman in May 2017. In November 2017, it acquired Thistle Design Limited, an Edinburgh-based maker of encoders, resolvers, and other positioning sensors that are used in measurement, motion and control applications. Encoders and resolvers measure the rotary position of a shaft by converting mechanical motion into an electrical signal. Thistle specializes in sensors used in harsh nuclear environments, high-reliability applications, and advanced defense projects.

BEI Precision designs and manufactures optical encoders, accelerometers, infrared optical scanners and encoder-based motion control systems that are used in military, space, aviation, and range instrumentation applications. Over 90% of all optical encoders currently flying in space are BEI encoders.

BEI traces its roots back to 1862 when it was founded as the D.H Baldwin Company, a manufacturer of pianos. BEI, led by CEO Mark Mirelez, is headquartered near Little Rock in Maumelle, AR with a subsidiary (Thistle Design) in Edinburgh.

J.F. Lehman is a middle-market private equity firm focused primarily on the aerospace, defense, maritime, government and environmental industries. The firm was founded in 1992 by Dr. John Lehman, who served six years as Secretary of the United States Navy. J.F. Lehman is headquartered in New York with an additional office in Washington, DC.

Sperry, Mitchell & Company was the financial advisor to Wenzel and McGinnis Lockridge provided legal services. KippsDeSanto & Co., a Tyson Corners, VA-based investment bank that specializes in aerospace and defense, government services and technology companies, was the financial advisor to BEI and J. F. Lehman (in September, KippsDeSanto was acquired by Capital One Financial Corporation). Legal services for this transaction were provided to BEI by Jones Day and Baker Hostetler.

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | October 24, 2019

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