Vance Street Forms Spectra, Looks to Consolidate C4ISR Sector

Vance Street Capital has formed Spectra A&D Holdings to acquire and merge three aerospace and defense technology companies.

The three acquired businesses include Las Cruces, New Mexico-based Calculex; and Alpharetta, Georgia-based Argon Corporation and FDS Avionics. Together these companies design and manufacturer avionics and electronics that record, process, route, and display data used in aerospace and defense applications.

Vance Street partnered with Bob McGill, a 35-year veteran of the defense technology industry, on this transaction and he now leads Spectra as its CEO. Earlier in his career, Mr. McGill led multiple divisions of defense and aerospace companies L3 Technologies and General Dynamics. He has also worked with Calculex in a senior executive/consultant role since 2016.

“The formation of Spectra through the combination of Calculex, Argon and FDS Avionics is a transformative event,” said Mr. McGill.  “I am excited to partner with Vance Street who brings a strong team, highly relevant investing experience and network in the C4ISR sector, along with significant operational resources.” C4ISR is an acronym that stands for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance.

The investment in Alpharetta, Georgia-headquartered Spectra was funded through Vance Street Capital III LP and represents the fund’s third platform investment.

“Spectra’s engineering and technical capabilities, combined with its proprietary products, are differentiated in the market,” said Brian Martin, the managing partner at Vance Street. “We plan to leverage our prior aerospace and defense technology experience, network and resources to help Bob grow Spectra organically and through acquisition.”

Los Angeles-based Vance Street makes control investments in companies with enterprise values of $30 million to $250 million and EBITDA of $3 million to $25 million. Sectors of interest include aerospace, defense, industrial, and medical.

“Vance Street is custom-tailored to provide entrepreneurs and executives the resources they need to accelerate growth,” said Nic Janneck, a principal at Vance Street. “With the additional support and capital that we can bring, Spectra will be able to invest in the continued development of advanced avionics technologies to address the challenges of some of the most demanding customers in the world.”

Vedder Price acted as legal advisor to Vance Street.  Debt financing for this transaction was provided by Fidus Investment Corporation.

Argon was represented by Janes Capital Partners while Calculex and FDS Avionics were acquired by Vance Street via separate proprietary transactions.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | February 26, 2021

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