Liberty Hall Capital Partners has acquired Bromford Industries, manufacturer of components for aircraft engines and industrial turbines—the second acquisition in two months for the New York private equity firm.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Liberty Hall plans to use Bromford, based in Birmingham, United Kingdom, as the foundation piece of a diversified supplier of components for aerospace and power generation industries, building the business through both acquisitions and organic growth. Liberty Hall focuses solely on the aerospace and defense industry.
“Bromford represents an ideal platform from which to build a fully-integrated, diversified engine component supplier,” says Liberty Hall partner Rowan Taylor. "As the commercial aerospace industry continues to enjoy long-term secular growth, one of the highest growing segments of the industry is demand for next generation fuel efficient engines."
Bromford supplies components for turbo-fan engines and landing gear for airplanes, industrial turbines and nuclear-powered submarines, along with related engineering services. Its customers include General Electric (NYSE: GE), Messier-Buggatti-Dowty, Rolls Royce, Siemens (Nasdaq: SFNC) and Snecma. Gary Lowe, Bromford’s CEO, and his management team are staying in their roles under the new ownership.
Increased air travel is driving M&A activity in the aerospace sector. Airbus, for example, is forecasting airline passenger traffic to increase by an average of 4.6 percent annually through 2034, and for air freight traffic to increase 4.4 percent per year over the same period. Notable deals exemplifying that trend have include Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A and BRK.B) earlier in 2016 completing its $37.2 billion deal for Precision Castparts Corp. (NYSE: PCP), supplier of equipment for the aerospace and energy industries. Before the Berkshire deal, Precision had made several acquisitions of its own, including Noranco Inc., an aerospace parts manufacturer, from MidOcean Partners and PSP Investments for $560 million and Composites Horizons LLC, a maker of composite materials used in airplane engines, from American Industrial Partners for undisclosed terms, both in July 2015. Most recently, Worldwide Flight Services, a cargo and ground handler in Irving, Texas, acquired Consolidated Aviation Services of New York from ICV Partners.
Earlier in 2016, Liberty Hall acquired AIM Aerospace, a Renton, Washington, aircraft parts manufacturer, with BlackRock Private Equity Partners and Northwestern Mutual Capital are also investing in the $220 million deal. In 2013, Liberty Hall acquired Accurus Aerospace Corp., a parts supplier that since made three add-on acquisitions: LaCroix Industries in 2015, McCann Machining in 2014 and Precise Machining & Manufacturing in 2013. Since 2000, Liberty Hall's principals have invested $2.2 billion in eleven platform and eight add-on acquisitions in aerospace, defense and related markets.
Financing for the Bromford acquisition was provided by Royal Bank of Scotland Asset Based Lending. Schulte Roth & Zabel and Ashurst provided legal advice to Liberty Hall, while Bromford was advised by PwC Corporate Finance, Mazars, Travers Smith and DLA Piper.