AEI Closes Eighth and Ninth Aero Buys

In two separate transactions, AE Industrial Partners has once again displayed its commitment to the aerospace sector with the buys of G.S. Precision, a manufacturer of components and specialty hardware used in aero-engines and defense systems, and Adcole Maryland Aerospace from Adcole Corporation, a portfolio company of Artemis Capital Partners.

The buy of G.S. Precision (GSP) is the ninth platform investment closed by AEI in the last 12 months and quickly follows the announced buy earlier this week of Adcole Maryland Aerospace.

GSP’s complex and high precision products are used in both new and aftermarket applications and are made from a range of materials from high-temperature nickel alloys and titanium to stainless steel and aluminum. The company’s two largest product lines are parts for commercial jet engines and missile guidance systems. GSP’s capabilities include CNC turning, machining, grinding, deburring, prototyping, and assembly.

G.S. Precision has more than 700 employees and is headquartered 100 miles northwest of Boston in Brattleboro, Vermont. The company, founded in 1958 by George Schneeberger, has four additional facilities in the US and Mexico. Today, the company is led by CEO Norm Schneeberger, the founder’s son, who will remain in his current role and continue to be a significant shareholder of the company.

“Since my father founded G.S. Precision over 60 years ago, the company has built a reputation as a best-in-class operation with five facilities and more than 700 employees globally,” said Mr. Schneeberger.   “We found a partner in AEI that clearly understands our business and shares our vision for growing G.S. Precision to the next level and continuing the great legacy created by our family.”

“We are very excited to partner with Norm and the talented G.S. Precision team,” said Charlie Compton, a partner at AEI.  “G.S. Precision has developed a leadership position in small diameter aerospace engine components and defense systems hardware with an unmatched reputation for quality and customer service.  We look forward to leveraging our industry experience and financial resources to build upon this successful foundation and continue to make G.S. Precision increasingly more important to the customers it serves.”

AEI’s other buy this week is Adcole Maryland Aerospace (AMA), a manufacturer of guidance, navigation, and control components used in low-earth orbit and geosynchronous satellites, and interplanetary spacecraft. The company’s key products include sun sensors (a navigational instrument used by satellites and spacecraft to detect the position of the sun); and star trackers and cameras (used to determine the orientation of a satellite and spacecraft with respect to the stars).

AMA’s components have been used on numerous space missions including voyages to Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto, and its customers include the Department of Defense as well as other government agencies, and private companies in the aerospace and defense sectors. AMA, led by General Manager Don Wesson Jr., was founded in 1957 and is headquartered 30 miles west of Boston in Marlborough, Massachusetts.

“We have been impressed by AMA’s tenure, reputation, and respected flight heritage in the space industry, and we are excited to partner with a truly premier supplier of mission-critical technologies,” said Kirk Konert, a partner at AEI. “AMA represents the first company of AEI’s space technology platform, which will serve the growing demand from both the U.S. Government and the commercial market for space and satellite vehicles.”

Boca Raton-based AEI invests in the aerospace and defense, power generation, and specialty industrial sectors with a specific focus on technical manufacturing; distribution and supply chain management; maintenance, repair and overhaul; and industrial service-based businesses.  Typical company targets will have from $50 million to $500 million of revenue. In July 2018, the firm held a final hard-cap closing of its second private equity fund, AE Industrial Partners Fund II LP, with $1.36 billion in commitments.

Gallagher, Flynn & Company, with offices in Vermont and New Hampshire, was the financial advisor to G.S. Precision on this transaction; and Mesirow Financial was the financial advisor to Adcole Corporation and Artemis Capital Partners.

© 2020 Private Equity Professional | March 6, 2020

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