TRM acquires Gamma Aerospace assets; Sole Source buys seafood importer; General Atlantic bets on Abu Dhabi

Good morning, Hubsters, MK Flynn here with today’s Wire.

We’re following a bunch of deals today from all over the world.

Let’s start relatively close to home with an aerospace and defense deal from a Michigan private equity firm picking up assets in Texas.

Then we’ll look at a seafood deal from a PE firm based in Texas.

Then we’ll cast a wider net, as a significant direct lender in the US deepens its bench in Europe.

We’ll check in with our PE Hub Europe team, which is covering a European broadcasting services deal.

And we’ll end with news of a new investment manager in the Middle East and North Africa.

Let’s start the globetrotting with all news is local:

Challenging operating environment. TRM Equity has acquired the assets of Gamma Aerospace. With three production facilities, including its headquarters in Mansfield, Texas, assembly location in southern California and machining location in Mexicali, Gamma is a manufacturer of multi-contoured formed and multi-axis machined parts serving the aerospace and defense sector.

“Gamma has been entrusted by the defense industry primes and commercial OEMs with responsibilities to provide critical components on high-profile programs for years,” said Jeff Stone, managing director, TRM. “These customers have supported our efforts to move the business forward from a very challenging operating environment caused by a combination of uncertain demand during the covid pandemic, labor market tightness and supply chain dislocations during the rebound from covid, as well as ongoing aggressive inflationary pressure.  As we move forward, Gamma will be a stable and predictable performer for our customers while the industry continues to navigate ongoing supply chain challenges.”

Based in Ann Arbor, TRM Equity makes control investments in middle-market industrial businesses with a history of profitability.

Gone fishing. Sole Source Capital has acquired Lee Fish USA, a seafood importer and distributor. The transaction marks Sole Source’s fortieth investment since the Dallas PE firm was founded by David Fredston in 2016. The deal marks the firm’s third platform investment in the foodservice distribution space.

Based in El Segundo, CA and founded in 2001, Lee Fish USA is a premium importer and value-added distributor of fresh and frozen seafood to the North American market. The company specializes in premium, branded seafood sourced from New Zealand, Australia and Japan.

“Sole Source is actively looking for quality-focused seafood distribution add-ons that will expand Lee’s geographic presence and drive exceptional customer service,” said Scott Sussman, partner and CIO of Sole Source.

Adding on. We’ve heard from many sources that 2023 is the year of the add-on. Here are a few add-on deals that caught our attention this morning:

• Security 101, a portfolio company of Gemspring Capital and a national provider of full-service commercial security solutions, announced today that it has acquired Security Solutions Northwest, based in Bellingham, Washington. SSNW is a regional provider of commercial security systems design and installation services.

• Signia Aerospace, a portfolio company of Arcline Investment Management, today announced the acquisition of Lifesaving Systems Corp.  Based in Apollo Beach, Florida, LSC is a global supplier of helicopter and maritime rescue and survival equipment.

• AQUA Dermatology, backed by Gryphon Investors and GTCR and headquartered in Naples, Florida, has brought aboard Surgical Dermatology Group, based in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, and Skin Cancer Specialists, based in Marietta, Georgia. Both practices will continue to operate under their existing names.

Cross-border. Golub Capital has expanded its presence in Europe with three new additions to its London-based team: Daniel von Rothenburg joined Golub as a managing director and head of EMEA on the business development and investor relations team. Von Rothenburg previously held MD positions are New End and at Oaktree Capital. Philipp Schroeder joined Golub as a senior director on the direct lending team. Schroeder worked previously in the direct originations team at Apollo Global Management in London. Mensah Lambie joined Golub as a principal on the direct lending team. Lambie was a principal at Apollo in London.

“European investors have become increasingly interested in private credit, recognizing its ability to deliver consistent, premium returns,” said David Golub, president of the firm.

“As European private equity sponsors participate in more cross-border transactions, they are looking for financing partners like us who have the ability to offer best-in-class, scalable lending solutions as well as multi-currency facilities,” said Tara Moore, managing director and head of European originations.

Golub established a dedicated direct lending presence in Europe in 2020 under Moore’s leadership. In the last three years, the firm has made nearly $9 billion of financing commitments to European deals across more than 80 transactions.

For ongoing coverage of private equity deals in the region, see PE Hub Europe.

European broadcasting services. Among the deals covered in depth today by the PE Hub Europe team is DUBAG’s carveout of Eurovision Services from the European Broadcasting Union.

Eurovision Services provides services for media organizations and sports federations and has offices in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Among its biggest customers are sports federations and right holders, such as UEFA, Formula 1 and the NBA.

Reporter Nina Lindholm’s article touches on DUBAG’s plans for Eurovision Services. Especially interesting is partner Emanuel Cattanei’s analysis of the broadcasting services industry – something that DUBAG’s previous ownership of German TV and film studio company MMC had informed.

“After a while, you see where each player lays,” said Cattanei. “I think they’re all really interconnected. Some of Eurovision’s customers are also their competitors, and service providers.”

Investing in MENA. ADQ, an investment and holding company, and International Holding Company, a global diversified conglomerate, aim to create the largest multi-asset class investment manager in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), headquartered in Abu Dhabi.

The investment manager, through a series of new funds, will make investments in alternative assets, including private equity, venture capital, private credit and public equities. It will invest through a combination of LP commitments to top tier global funds (i.e., fund of funds strategy), direct investments (including private equity and venture capital), credit and co-investments.

General Atlantic is participating as a strategic investor and partner.

“General Atlantic has been investing in the Middle East since 2015 and we are committed to further deepening our engagement in the region,” said William E. Ford, chairman and CEO of the New York-based growth equity firm. “We are proud to join as an anchor investor and strategic partner to support ADQ and IHC in establishing a leading global alternative investment and wealth manager from the region. This new investment manager will play an important role in strengthening Abu Dhabi’s position as an emerging global financial center.”

That wraps things up for today. I’ll be back with more PE deals tomorrow.

All the best,