AEI’s Builds Applied Composites

Applied Composites, a portfolio company of AE Industrial Partners (AEI), has acquired Alliance Spacesystems, a manufacturer and designer of composite structures used in satellite and aerospace applications.

Alliance’s activities include the fabrication, assembly, and testing of space flight hardware and satellite structures. The company’s products include commercial and military satellite payload structures used to house electronics, propulsion, and power subsystems; composite components and structures such as panels, pipes and struts, cones and outer skin; hyperbolic and parabolic antenna reflectors; and instrument structures for telescopes and cameras, reflectors and sun shades. Alliance is led by General Manager Rick Byrens.

Alliance is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SolAero Technologies, an Albuquerque, New Mexico-based provider of solar cells and solar panels and, through Alliance, composite structures for satellites. SolAero acquired Alliance in May 2015 from Admiralty Partners, a Los Angeles-based family office led by Jon Kutler.

The buy of Los Alamitos, California-based Alliance is the fifth acquisition completed by Applied Composites since being formed by AEI in May 2016.

Applied Composites is a provider of complex composite components, assemblies, engineering, and tooling to the aerospace, defense, and specialty automobile markets. The company was formed through AEI’s acquisitions of AC&A Enterprises in May 2016, Applied Composites Engineering in November 2017, Applied Composite Structures in December 2017, and San Diego Composites in February 2018. Applied Composites is headquartered near Los Angeles in Lake Forest, California.

“When we formed Applied Composites, our goal was to create a one-stop shop for complex composites, offering unparalleled products and services to the aerospace, defense and space industries,” said Kirk Konert, a partner at AEI. “With the addition of Alliance, we have taken another step in building a uniquely diverse and vertically integrated composites platform.”

Applied Composites, led by CEO David Horner, now has a combined 360,000 square feet of production capacity across three California facilities in Lake Forest, Brea, and San Diego; and one facility in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“We are excited to add Alliance, with its well-respected space heritage and its extensive line of composite products and services, to our growing company,” said Mr. Horner. “Interest and investment in the space industry is at an all-time high, and we look forward to working closely with the Alliance team as we look for ways to meet this growing demand and better serve our customers.”

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.

RSM was the financial advisor to Applied Composites and KippsDeSanto advised Alliance.

Private Equity Professional | September 3, 2020

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