Miranda Dobson

MB Aerospace announce American secondary MBO

Burnley-based firm MB Aerospace has announced the completion of a secondary management buyout (MBO), as investors LDC exit the group.

New investment was found from Washington DC-based private equity fund, Alrington Capital Partners, who will take a majority stake in the business alongside the MB Aerospace management team.

MB Aerospace has manufacturing operations in the UK and the U.S., and is in current talks with several acquisition “targets” in North America, which could take turnover to more than $80m.

Craig Gallagher, who led the MBO from engineering group Motherwell Bridge in 2007, will take the role of chief executive within the enlarged business.

He commented: “This landmark deal represents a great vote of confidence in our US and UK employees and operations, as well as providing the group with significant opportunities for further expansion in the months and years ahead.

“Our vision of creating a truly world-class aerospace business focussed on aero-engine components is developing at pace, with the acquisitions in the past 15 months of Gentz Aero of Detroit and Thomson Aero of Somerset, UK allowing us to further grow our manufacturing operations whilst securing significant remit extensions for our supply chain management services and complementary engineering support services.”

The business supplies to a range of big-name customers, including Rolls Royce, General Electric, Volvo Aerospace and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

John Garner, head of LDC in Yorkshire and the North East, commented: “The company has developed into an international components manufacturer of scale, capitalising on a buoyant aerospace and defence industry by increasing its production capabilities and establishing a presence in North America through strategic acquisition.

“Having worked closely with the management team since 2007, the deal represents an excellent outcome for all parties.

“Arlington Capital Partners shares MB Aerospace’s vision and is the ideal investor to support its continued international growth.”

Mr Gallagher concluded: “The LDC team has been a real support to us in the last five years as we re-shaped a diverse group of engineering operations through six major transactions to emerge as a dedicated aerospace components business with lines of activity into all key aero-engine OEMs.

“We see really exciting opportunities in the years ahead, as the global airline sector is expected to grow significantly over the next two decades, doubling from its current 20,000 aircraft by the early 2030s.”

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