Levine Leichtman Exits Nobles Worldwide

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (LLCP) has sold Nobles Worldwide to publicly traded Ducommun. LLCP acquired Nobles Worldwide in March 2014.

Nobles is a supplier of ammunition handling systems used in military aircraft, helicopters, ground vehicles and shipboard systems. The company’s products include ammunition chutes, magazines, gun mounts and weapon stations.

Nobles is currently the primary ammunition feed chute supplier to most F-Series (fighter) aircraft and naval close-in weapon systems in the U.S. and supports more than 50 different such systems in 50 other countries worldwide. The company, led by President Will Wennberg, was founded in 1948 and is headquartered near Minneapolis in St. Croix Falls, WI (www.noblesworldwide.com).

“The Nobles investment has been very successful for LLCP, our partners and the company’s management team,” said Micah Levin, a managing director of LLCP. “Since our initial investment in 2014, we are proud to have enhanced the value of Nobles by investing in a best-in-class management team, driving growth and diversification through international and ground vehicle business development, accelerating product innovation, and implementing operational improvements. We are excited for the future of Nobles, and we wish the team continued success.”

“It has been a true pleasure partnering with the LLCP team through this time of unprecedented growth,” said Mr. Wennberg. “We have appreciated their support in advancing our strategic initiatives and have benefitted significantly from this collaboration. We are excited to enter the next phase of growth.”

Ducommun (NYSE: DCO) is a manufacturer of electronic components and structural products used in commercial aircraft platforms, military and space programs, and industrial applications. Ducommun, with revenues in 2018 of $629 million, was founded in 1849 by Swedish watchmaker Charles Ducommun and is headquartered in Santa Ana, CA.

“I am delighted to welcome Nobles to Ducommun as we continue to add high-value engineered products to our portfolio,” said Stephen Oswald, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Nobles continues to advance our strategy of offering more customized, value-driven engineered products with aftermarket support. In addition, the acquisition expands our current footprint into another segment of the defense market, ammunition delivery and handling systems.”

Ducommun financed the purchase of Nobles through its existing revolving credit facility from Bank of America.

LLCP invests in middle-market companies located in the United States and Europe. The firm is based in Beverly Hills with offices in New York, Dallas, Chicago, Charlotte, London, Stockholm and The Hague.

Houlihan Lokey was the financial advisor to Nobles on this transaction.

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | October 9, 2019

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