New Mountain Eyes Supplier To Mars Rover, Stealth Bomber

New Mountain Capital is in talks to buy NuSil Technology LLC, a chemistry company that makes products used in the construction of everything from the Mars Rover to the Hubble Telescope to stealth bombers, according to Buyouts. The seller is Quad-C Management.

New Mountain, which typically spends $100 million to $500 million of equity on new deals, would likely expand the Carpinteria, Calif.-based company’s presence in Asia as well as in the electronics market, the source said.

Besides aerospace, the company also provides silicone compounds to the healthcare market for products such as implanted devices and to the cosmetics industry for lipstick and other products. CEO Richard Compton founded the company, which also has offices in Texas and France, in 1979. The company’s Web site says its current management has been in place since the early 1980s and that the company has achieved a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent in recent years.

NuSil was preparing a covenant-lite loan for an LBO, sister news service Reuters reported March 28.

The deal would mark the second in specialty chemicals for New Mountain, which launched an initiative to find deals in the sector a few years ago. Last year, the firm bought a company now called Avantor Performance Materials Inc., a Phillipsburg, N.J.-based manufacturer and marketer of chemicals and pharmaceutical products for the laboratory and microelectronics markets.

New Mountain would invest out of its third fund, according to a regulatory filing. New Mountain closed the fund in 2008 with around $5 billion in committed capital.

For Quad-C, the deal could bring a much-needed exit to the firm as it seeks to raise its first fund since losing a portion of its New York team and foregoing a planned expansion into China. The Charlottesville, Va.-based firm is seeking $900 million for Quad-C Partners VIII, Buyouts previously reported.

The sale would come out of Quad-C Partners VI LP, a $600 million fund the firm raised in 2000.