Arlington Capital-Backed United Flexible Picks up Specialized Manufacturer Fulton Bellows

Arlington recently agreed to buy the defense business of iRobot and sell MB Aerospace to Blackstone

United Flexible Inc., an Arlington Capital Partners company, has acquired Fulton Bellows LLC, maker of components for gas and fluid control systems. The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, is the second one related to Arlington Capital announced in February.

The Washington, D.C.-based private equity firm is buying the defense and security business of iRobot Corp. (Nasdaq: IRBT) with plans to operate it as an independent company supplying robots to the U.S. military and others. In October, Arlington Capital sold aerospace engine maker MB Aerospace to the Blackstone Group LP (NYSE: BX). Arlington Capital manages $1.5 billion of committed capital in three funds focused on middle-market opportunities in aerospace and defense, government services and technology, healthcare, and business services and software.

Fulton Bellows of Knoxville, Tennessee, will operate independently as a United Flexible subsidiary, with a combined 470 employees at the two companies. Fulton makes precision bellows and thin-walled metal components used in gas and fluid control systems.

United Flexible, based in Romeoville, Illinois, makes solutions for the transfer of fluids and gases in extreme environments, serving manufacturers and distributors to companies in the aerospace and defense, satellite, power generation, general industrial, oil and gas, cooling, and transportation markets. The company also has manufacturing operations in Houston, Texas; Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, UK; Stockholm, Sweden; and Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

John Devine, United Flexible’s CEO, says that Fulton Bellows adds capabilities for his company in hydroforming—a process that uses high-pressure hydraulic fluid to press metals into forms--and specialized bellows manufacturing. The capabilities will allow United Flexible to offer wide ranges of solutions to its customers.


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