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 that it has executed a definitive agreement to sell AIM Aerospace, a leading designer and producer of advanced composite structures, systems, engine components and thermoplastic technology for the global aerospace industry, to Sekisui Chemical Group (“Sekisui”) for US$510 million in cash, subject to customary adjustments.
“AIM Aerospace is an integrated and diversified composite supplier with an innovative approach and proven track record on delivering a range of full-service solutions for the commercial and military aircraft and engine markets,” said Rowan Taylor, Liberty Hall’s founding and Managing Partner.
“Over the past three years through our partnership with AIM Aerospace, the company has expanded its capabilities, diversified its customer base and extended its geographic reach. AIM Aerospace is now leading the way in the implementation of advanced thermoplastics and intelligent automation for aerospace in North America. As demand for composite components continues to increase, we are pleased that AIM Aerospace is well-positioned to deliver a new generation of complex products to the industry. We are very proud to transfer leadership to Sekisui to oversee the next chapter in AIM Aerospace’s expansion.”
Founded in 1988 as part of the UK-based AIM Group PLC, Renton, WA-based AIM Aerospace has more than 1,000 employees operating from its manufacturing centers of excellence and research and technology center located in the United States. The company’s key customers include The Boeing Company, GE, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Spirit AeroSystems. AIM Aerospace was acquired by Liberty Hall in 2016 to serve as the foundational asset of the firm’s strategy to build a fully-integrated, diversified composites supplier. In 2017, Liberty Hall acquired Quatro Composites, a leading supplier of highly engineered advanced composite structures, components and assemblies for the aerospace industry, and integrated the company into AIM Aerospace.
“With the support of Liberty Hall, AIM Aerospace has grown stronger in the past three years by extending its leadership position in manufacturing of complex thermoplastic aerospace components, growing its customer base, and entering the engine composites segment of the market,” said Taylor Catarozoli, Partner, Liberty Hall. “AIM Aerospace has demonstrated an ability to deliver innovative solutions to complex problems as one integrated platform, and we applaud the company’s leadership, led by Daniele Cagnatel, for their work in transforming the company and creating new opportunities.”
“Through our partnership with Liberty Hall and the relentless efforts of our skilled employees, AIM Aerospace has built on its strengths in composite thermoplastics manufacturing, and successfully positioned itself on key growth programs in structures and engine components on both Boeing and Airbus platforms.” said Daniele Cagnatel, Chief Executive Officer, AIM Aerospace. “We appreciate the support of Liberty Hall in preparing us to reach the next stage of growth. We are excited to join the Sekisui Group, and plan to leverage their strong industrial, material and manufacturing expertise to further enhance our capabilities, as well as utilize their global presence to better serve our current and emerging customer needs.”
Completion of the transaction is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and applicable regulatory reviews.
Lincoln International served as sell-side financial advisor to Liberty Hall. Legal advice to Liberty Hall was provided by Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.
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 25-plus year history of working together and have led the investment of over $2.5 billion in equity capital in over 25 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.
About AIM Aerospace
AIM Aerospace is a leading designer and producer of advanced composite structures, systems, engine components and thermoplastic technology for the global aerospace industry. AIM’s multiple and highly complementary capabilities allow the delivery of products to its customers with optimal cost, quality and delivery. AIM Aerospace has been manufacturing and engineering products for the aerospace and defense markets for over 30 years. Based in Renton, Washington, AIM Aerospace is currently executing a strategic plan to build its business through strategic investments in further capabilities, customers and platforms.
About SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group
The SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group consists of SEKISUI CHEMICAL CO., LTD (TSE: 4204), whose headquarters is in Japan, and its subsidiaries. Twenty-six thousand employees work in over 200 companies in 21 countries, aiming to improve the lives of the people of the world and the earth’s environment. The group conducts business in the fields of residential and social infrastructure creation and chemical solutions. Since its founding in 1947, the SEKISUI CHEMICAL group has dedicated itself to contributing to social development and environmental improvement and it has recently been selected as one of the Global 100 most sustainable companies. SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group will continue to show its strong presence for 100 years or longer.