Private equity firm Liberty Hall Capital Partners has purchased Dunlop Aircraft Tyres Ltd., a manufacturer of aircraft tires, for $135 million. The target is Liberty Hall’s first portfolio company that provides aftermarket products to the aerospace industry.
Dunlop Aircraft, named after the company's founder John Boyd Dunlop, designs tires that are used on more than 150 commercial, regional and military aircraft models. The target operates three facilities located in Mocksville, North Carolina, Jinjiang, China and Birmingham. Dunlop Aircraft is not affiliated with Goodyear Dunlop, which acquired the Dunlop car tire brand in 1999.
New York-based Liberty Hall has been quite active in buying airplane part companies since 2016. The PE firm backed aerospace parts supplier ZTM Inc., purchased parts distributor J&M Machine LLC; engine parts manufacturer Bromford Industries; and also added also added seat shell maker AIM Aerospace.
After-market manufacturers have risen as prime targets for middle-market buyers. Other deals involving supplier of the aerospace and automobile 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; Golden Gate Capital’s purchase of aircraft ground support equipment provider Tronair Parent Inc.; and AE Industrial’s purchase of Moeller Mfg. Co. LLC.
Macquarie Capital Ltd served as financial adviser to Liberty Hall, while Gibson Dunn & Crutcher served as legal counsel. Financing for the acquisition was provided by the Royal Bank of Scotland, Permira Credit Solutions Funds and Macquarie Corporate Holding Pty Ltd.