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MB Aerospace Acquires Thomson Aero

6 Apr 2012

MB Aerospace Holdings Ltd, (MB Aerospace) one of the UK’s leading aerospace companies, has announced the acquisition of the business and certain assets of Thomson Aero Ltd from administrators KPMG LLP.

The successful conclusion of the sale safeguards the employment of the company’s highly skilled, 60-strong workforce and provides the opportunity for continued manufacturing at its Frome facility in Somerset.

The business will form a new division of MB Aerospace, alongside the Group’s three UK-based facilities located in Derby, Burnley and Motherwell.

Founded in 1959, Thomson Aero Ltd has a blue-chip customer base and provides engineering solutions and manufactured aero-engine components for a number of civil, defence and industrial gas turbines.

With recent annual revenues of approximately £6m, Thomson Aero Ltd has developed a sophisticated range of engineering and production capabilities for a number of key aero-engine programmes, including complex machined components supporting the Eurofighter Typhoon and Airbus A330 aircraft, as well as a range of legacy platforms.

Craig Gallagher, Chief Executive Officer of MB Aerospace Holdings Ltd, said: “This acquisition provides us with a range of additional complex machining capabilities and a highly skilled workforce ready to support the challenging needs of our global customers, including Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney, Boeing and GKN Aerospace.

“The administration of Thomson Aero Ltd has been a challenging period for employees, customers and supplier stakeholders alike; however, I’m confident the acquisition provides the best solution available for all and that MB Aerospace will be able to stabilise the business and position it for future growth.”

Allan Thomson, General Manager of Thomson Aero, said: “We have continued to invest in state-of-the-art technologies and the ongoing training and development of our staff which has positioned us well for the acquisition by MB Aerospace.

”MB Aerospace recognises the quality of business built here in Frome and we’re looking forward to working with the wider MB Aerospace Group to benefit from the global experience of a larger aerospace family of companies.”

This deal marks MB Aerospace’s second acquisition in just three months following the recent purchase of Gentz Aero, based in Detroit, USA in December 2011, bringing the total number of employees in the MBAe Group to almost 450.

Both deals have been financed following the sale of MBAe’s two non-core subsidiaries, MB Faber (in August 2009) and MBAe Oil & Gas (March 2011), as part of the company’s strategy to focus on its key aerospace business. The Group has also benefited throughout from the continuing support of its major equity investor, LDC, which backed the management buyout of the business in 2007.

John Swarbrick, Senior Director at LDC, commented: “The deal will further increase MB Aerospace’s production capabilities, whilst creating a number of synergies as a result of the two firms’ complementary product offerings and target markets.

“MB Aerospace’s experienced, acquisitive management team continues to develop an international components manufacturer of scale, which generates significant value for its customers and shareholders alike, whilst contributing to the regional economies in which it operates.”

Mr Gallagher, added: “As aerospace markets continue to grow due to increased demand for air and freight travel, the Thomson Aero Ltd takeover provides us with additional skills and a significantly enhanced engineering capacity to service our growing global customer base.

“This acquisition will broaden the MB Aerospace customer base and further serves to strengthen the product range offered to a number of the Group’s existing customers.”

Independent forecasters expect more than 30,000 new aircraft to be delivered in the next two decades, with the total size of the airline fleet currently in service expected to more than

double. This growth is being fuelled by the rising demand for travel in Asia coupled with the need of European and American airlines to replace aging aircraft.


Notes to editors:
MB Aerospace Holdings Ltd.

MB Aerospace is an international aerospace engineering group with revenues of $80million providing complex engineering solutions to some of the key names in the aerospace and defence market.

The group provides an in-depth knowledge of critical manufacturing technologies and the global supply chain management to support complex aero-engine component manufacture and repair.

MBAe supports major corporations to address the root causes of under-performance in their extended and fragmented supply chains and helps safe-guard the continuity of supply in challenging circumstances.

Craig Gallagher, 39, Group Chief Executive, led the MBAe management buy-out in 2007, which acquired a number of engineering businesses from Scottish industrial veteran Motherwell Bridge. Since 2007, Gallagher and his team have secured strategic remits with a number of key aerospace and defence companies.

In addition, the group has executed a number of divestments with funds redeployed to acquire high-skill engineering-led businesses and provide the Group with the capacity and advanced manufacturing capabilities to support our aero-engine OEM customers as the global aerospace and defence markets return to a period of sustained growth


LDC is part of the Lloyds Banking Group and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

LDC has, since 1981, completed over 400 investments, has ongoing interests in over 60 businesses across the UK.

LDC back ambitious management teams from UK-based companies seeking between £2m and £100m of equity for management buy-outs, institutional buy-outs or development capital transactions.

LDC invests in a broad range of sectors and has particular experience in Construction & Property, Financial Services, Healthcare, Industrials, Retail & Consumer, TMT, Travel & Leisure and Support Services.

LDC is the leading private equity company in the UK mid-market. Recent transactions include investments with Angel Springs, A-Gas, Music Magpie, Learndirect, PJD Group, and UK2 Group plus exits from Aesica, Davies Group, and Ascend.

LDC has a UK regional network alongside an international operation based in Hong Kong.

For further information, call Dave Lafferty on 0161 235 0318 or visit www.ldc.co.uk For further information please visit www.mbaerospace.co.uk.

Issued by The BIG Partnership on behalf of MB Aerospace Holdings Ltd.

For further information please contact:

Michelle Holton

Tel: 0141 333 9585 / 07957 870 514