AE Industrial-backed aerospace parts maker receives private equity investment

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Applied Composites Holdings, a portfolio company of AE Industrial Partners, has acquired aerospace composites maker San Diego Composites, its third acquisition in four months.

AE Industrial Partners, a Boca Raton, Florida, private equity firm, invests in aerospace, power generation and specialty industrial companies. San Diego Composites designs and produces composites in San Diego for the aerospace and defense industries. It has produced composite structures for NASA’s Orion spacecraft and Raytheon missile systems.

AE Industrial’s platform company, Applied Composites Holdings, was comprised of three aerospace and defense composites suppliers prior to the latest deal: AC&A Enterprises, Applied Composites Engineering Inc. and Applied Composite Structures Inc., which was formerly EnCore Composite Structures.

Rob Kolozs, co-founder and CEO of San Diego Composites, says his company had worked for years with AC&A prior to the deal. “Joining Applied Composites is an ideal strategic fit and natural next step in the progression and growth of our business,” he says.

AE Industrial formed what is now called Applied Composites Holdings starting in 2016 with its purchase of AC&A, maker of parts and tooling for aerospace, defense, space and specialty automotive companies. In recent months, the portfolio company picked up Applied Composites Engineering and EnCore Composite. Applied Composites Engineering in Indianapolis provides composites to original equipment manufacturers in aerospace and defense. EnCore, of Brea, California, designs and manufactures complex composite parts and assemblies for commercial passenger jet planes and military programs.

AE Industrial was recently recognized by Mergers & Acquisitions in a special report as one of the “10 young and thriving firms worth watching.” Even aside from building its Applied Composites portfolio company, AE Industrial had a busy 2017 for acquisitions. The PE firm recently picked up airplane parts manufacturer F.M.I Inc., engineering technology and staffing services provider CDI Corp., and industrial maintenance and repair service provider BHI Energy.

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