Trive Forms Karman Missile & Space
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Trive Forms Karman Missile & Space

Trive Capital has formed Karman Missile & Space Systems in partnership with the senior management teams of Aerospace Engineering Corp. (AEC) and AMRO Fabricating Corporation.

Karman Missile & Space Systems provides design, engineering, precision machining, large part forming, thermal coating, and sub-assembly services of flight hardware and complex sub-assemblies used in space, missile, interceptor and hypersonic applications.

Some of Karman’s products include engine nozzles, nose cones, iso and ortho-grid body panels, titanium attachment hardware, and heat shields. Isogrid panels are partially hollowed-out structures usually formed from a single metal plate with triangular stiffening ribs. Orthogrid panels are similar but instead use rectangular stiffening ribs.

Karman has facilities near Los Angeles in Brea (Aerospace Engineering) and South El Monte (AMRO Fabricating), California; and a project management facility in Huntsville, Alabama.

Aerospace Engineering was acquired by Trive in August 2020, while the formation of Karman and the buy of AMRO (the name stands for “A Michael Riley Operation”) closed separately. According to Trive, Karman is now one of the largest independently owned manufacturers and suppliers of complex systems to the aerospace and defense sectors.

“Karman is well-positioned to benefit from rapidly increasing demand for space launch, missile defenses, and hypersonic weapon technologies with substantial content on the leading platforms currently in development,” said David Stinnett, a partner at Trive. “Both AEC and AMRO have established outstanding reputations for high quality and on-time delivery on the most intricate, difficult to manufacture flight hardware and assemblies. We share management’s vision for creating a full-service supplier for these markets and anticipate significant investment to support the capabilities and capacity demanded by customers both now and in the years to come.”

The senior leadership teams of both businesses, including Mike Riley, the former owner of AMRO, and Mark Mahboubi, the former owner of AEC, will continue as equity holders and executives at Karman with Mr. Riley holding the position of chief executive officer and Mr.  Mahboubi as chief technology officer.

“We are excited to form this new partnership with the collective vision to build an integrated supplier of flight hardware and assemblies for the space and missile markets,” said Mr. Riley. “Working collaboratively with Trive and AEC will allow us to continue growing with our customers, investing in new capabilities and adding capacity to alleviate current supply chain constraints.  Our goal is to build the preeminent Tier 1 systems integrator to the space sector, in a historically fragmented market.”

Trive invests from $10 million to $150 million of debt or equity in North America-headquartered companies with revenues of $40 million to $1.5 billion. The firm is industry-agnostic but has specific experience across a range of sectors including aerospace and defense, automotive, building products, business services, chemicals, and consumer goods. The firm was founded in 2012 by Conner Searcy and Chris Zugaro and is based in Dallas.

D.A. Davidson was the financial advisor to the shareholders of Aerospace Engineering, and KAL Capital Markets was the financial advisor to the shareholders of AMRO Fabricating.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | January 28, 2021

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