Liberty Hall Capital Partners has acquired Renton, Washington-based AIM Aerospace, a supplier of composite ducting, substructural and interiors parts for the commercial aerospace industry. The value of the transaction is $220 million. Lincoln International, Stephenson Harwood and Riddell Williams advised AIM on the deal.
NEW YORK and LONDON and RENTON, Wash., Feb. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Liberty Hall Capital Partners (“Liberty Hall”), a private equity firm focused exclusively on investments in businesses serving the global aerospace and defense industry, announced today the acquisition of AIM Aerospace, a leading, independent supplier of composite ducting, substructural and interiors parts for the commercial aerospace industry, in a transaction valued at US$220 million, subject to customary adjustments as per the purchase agreement. AIM Aerospace will serve as the foundational asset of Liberty Hall’s newly launched strategy to build a fully-integrated, diversified composites supplier through organic investments and strategic acquisitions. Liberty Hall’s investment partners in the transaction include funds managed by BlackRock Private Equity Partners, Northwestern Mutual Capital and other leading institutional investors.
“The commercial aerospace market continues to enjoy strong, long-term secular growth, driven by demand for next generation aircraft,” said Rowan Taylor, Liberty Hall’s founding Partner. “With this unprecedented growth in aircraft deliveries, aircraft manufacturers are increasingly transitioning from metallic to composite materials that provide weight savings and other beneficial properties that increase fuel efficiency and durability. As a private equity firm focused exclusively on the aerospace and defense industry, we see significant opportunities in this segment of the industry and believe that AIM Aerospace possesses an ideal combination of capabilities, customer relationships and a proven track record of success. The growing demand for composites provides an opportunity for AIM to serve as the platform investment for Liberty Hall to build a fully-integrated, diversified composites supplier.”
Founded in 1988 as part of the UK-based AIM Group PLC, Renton-based AIM Aerospace is a leading, independent supplier of composite ducting, substructural and interiors parts for the commercial aerospace industry, focused on the highest value Boeing platforms, including the 737, 777 and 787. AIM Aerospace is one of the largest employers in the greater Seattle area with over 1,000 employees operating from facilities located in Renton, Auburn and Sumner, Washington. The company’s largest customers include The Boeing Company, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Spirit AeroSystems and B/E Aerospace. AIM Aerospace was a 2014 recipient of the Spirit Supplier of the Year Award.
AIM’s existing management team, led by John Feutz, President, will remain in their roles following the acquisition. “Liberty Hall provides a unique combination of relationships, experiences and resources that will allow us to grow AIM Aerospace and better serve our existing and new customers,” commented Mr. Feutz. “We are very excited to partner with Liberty Hall as we continue to set the industry standard for customer solutions and prepare for further growth of our business.”
AIM Aerospace represents Liberty Hall’s second platform acquisition. Liberty Hall previously formed Accurus Aerospace Corporation, a fully-integrated, highly diversified Tier II aerostructures supplier, in 2013. Since its formation, Accurus has completed three strategic acquisitions: Precise Machining & Manufacturing (2013), McCann Aerospace Machining (2014) and LaCroix Industries (2015). Since 2000, Liberty Hall’s principals have invested $2.2 billion in equity capital in ten platforms and eight add-on acquisitions serving the aerospace and defense industry and complementary industrial end markets.
First lien financing for the acquisition was arranged by Antares Capital, Citizens Bank and KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. and second lien financing was arranged by Carlyle GMS Finance, Inc. Legal advice to Liberty Hall was provided by Schulte Roth & Zabel, Ashurst and Pillsbury.
AIM Group was advised by Lincoln International, Stephenson Harwood and Riddell Williams.
About Liberty Hall Capital Partners
Liberty Hall Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused exclusively on investments in businesses serving the global aerospace and defense industry. Liberty Hall’s principals have a 20-plus year history of working together and have led the investment of $2.2 billion in equity capital in businesses serving multiple segments of the aerospace and defense industry and complementary industrial end markets. Liberty Hall develops actionable investment strategies for attractive segments of the aerospace and defense industry and then partners with entrepreneurs and management teams to acquire leading businesses serving these segments and, together with them, develops sound, long-term strategic plans to build these businesses through a combination of strategic investments and strategic acquisitions. For more information, please visit http://www.libertyhallcapital.com/.
About AIM Aerospace
AIM Aerospace Corporation is a leading Tier II independent supplier of composite ducting, substructural and interiors parts for the commercial aerospace industry. Formed through the acquisition of AIM Group in 2016, AIM Aerospace’s multiple and highly complementary capabilities allow the delivery of products to customers with optimal cost, quality and delivery. Based in Renton with additional facilities located in Auburn and Sumner, Washington, AIM Aerospace is currently executing a strategic plan to build its business through strategic investments in further capabilities, customers and platforms. For more information, please visit http://www.aim-aerospace.com/.