AE Industrial's Kellstrom Aerospace acquires Vortex Aviation

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Kellstrom Aerospace Group Inc., backed by investment firm AE Industrial Partners, has purchased airplane engine repair service provider Vortex Aviation Inc. The deal comes as the buyer seeks to grow into a full-service aftermarket company for the aircraft community.

Vortex Aviation provides on-wing engine maintenance services and quick-turn engine repairs for the commercial aircraft industry. The target has repair facilities located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Shannon, Ireland and Singapore. With Vortex Aviation, Kellstrom now provides enhanced on-wing support, minor in-house repairs, and managing engines through full performance restoration or technical consultancy projects.

“When we acquired Kellstrom Aerospace in 2015, our goal was to become a full-service aftermarket solutions provider to airlines, MROs, and the aircraft lessor community,” states AE Industrial managing partner David Rowe. “The broader market reach Vortex Aviation brings to Kellstrom Aerospace will also benefit our OEM distribution partners, as we expand our geographical footprint and customer base.”

Kellstrom was acquired by AE Industrial in April 2015 as a supply chain partner to original equipment manufacturers (OEM), airlines and air transport operators. The Miami Lake, Florida-based company provides new and pre-owned aircraft parts for engine and airframe heavy maintenance.

Boca Raton, Florida-based AE Industrial invests in aerospace, power generation and specialty industrial companies, focusing on technical manufacturing, distribution and supply chain management; maintenance, repair and overhaul; and industrial services. In 2016, the firm acquired aerospace parts manufacturer AC&A, bought Moeller Mfg and raised more than $600 million to back aerospace companies.

After-market manufacturers have risen as prime targets for middle-market buyers. Other deals involving suppliers to the aerospace industry include: Aircraft Technical Publishers’, backed by ParkerGale Capital LP, acquisition of CaseBank Technologies Inc.; Liberty Hall’s purchase of ZTM Inc. to integrate with its portfolio company Accurus Aerospace Corp.; Platte River Equity’s deal for airplane engine tester CTS Engines; and Golden Gate Capital’s purchase of aircraft ground support equipment provider Tronair Parent Inc.

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