Fondo Italiano d'Investimento and Stellex
acquire a majority stake in Mecaer Aviation Group,
a leader in the aerospace sector
The transaction is a first in the consolidation of
the Italian aeronautical equipment supply chain
Milan, 31 August 2021 – Fondo Italiano d'Investimento SGR (“FII”), through Fondo Italiano Consolidamento e Crescita (“FICC”), signed today an agreement to invest in Mecaer Aviation Group (the “Company”), a leading Italian company in the aerospace sector, thus launching the first consolidation project of the aerospace equipment supply chain in Italy. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Established in 1995 as a spin-off of Leonardo by a group of Italian entrepreneurs, with headquarters in Borgomanero (NO), Mecaer’s got two production plants in Italy, one in Philadelphia (USA) and one in Laval (Canada). The Company is specialized in the design and production of technological equipment systems (flight control systems, actuation systems, landing systems) for the helicopter sector and small to medium sized aircraft, mainly business jets, trainer aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (c.d. UAVs), for major industry players including Augusta/Leonardo, Bell and Airbus. The Company, with a turnover of €140 million and a €18 million EBITDA, is currently chaired and led by Bruno Spagnolini, CEO of the Company and former CEO of AgustaWestland.
The transaction consists of FICC, the fund managed by Fondo Italiano d'Investimento focused on investments and consolidation projects in Italian companies operating in sectors of excellence, and Stellex Capital Management (“Stellex”), a leading transatlantic mid-market private equity operator with significant expertise in the global aerospace sector, partnering together to lead the acquisition of shares of NB Renaissance Partners and Private Equity Partners funds and the subscription of a capital increase. This will provide the Company with new financial resources aimed at pursuing an ambitious growth plan in Italy and abroad, including potential M&A. The transaction is focused on internationalization in the relevant areas for the sector (USA, France, UK, Germany), and will look to enhance the skills of its workforce and broaden the Company’s customer base. The transaction will allow the founding families and the Company’s CEO to partner alongside the fund’s investors to support further acquisitions and continued growth in the industry.
"This is a strategic transaction for Fondo Italiano because of the global relevance of the aerospace sector, the specific skills that Italy has shown it can develop, and the enabling technologies that we believe we can further grow thanks to a “best in class” platform like Mecaer", says Antonio Pace, CEO of FII.
"Today we are starting the consolidation of the aerospace equipment supply chain, as it has already happened in France, Spain and Germany" - continues Gianpaolo Di Dio, Chief Investment Officer of FII. "The deal strengthens one of the sectors in which Italy can potentially express a leadership of sheer excellence".
Bruno Spagnolini, who has significant experience in the sector, stated: "The Italian aerospace sector has great opportunities for growth and consolidation, including international ones. Today we receive the support of Fondo Italiano d'Investimento, the first private equity operator in Italy, and Stellex, one of the main international operators in the aerospace and defence sector. It is an exciting time as this is the beginning of a new era for Mecaer".
Karthik Achar, Partner of Stellex, said: "We are excited to be part of this new phase of growth for Mecaer and to support its global expansion. Stellex sees a great opportunity in this partnership and we are committed to supporting Mecaer's drive to be a world class supplier to its customers."
FII and Stellex were assisted by KPMG Corporate Finance, CSP Associates, E&Y, Latham & Watkins, ERM and Marsh, as well as receiving financial support from Solution Bank and Anthilia. The shareholders of Mecaer were assisted by Studio Gatti Pavesi Bianchi Ludovici.
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About Fondo Italiano d’Investimento SGR
Fondo Italiano d’Investimento SGR (“Fondo Italiano” or “FII SGR”) was created in 2010 on the initiative of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) and its shareholders include CDP Equity, Intesa Sanpaolo, UniCredit, ABI and Confindustria. The main goal of Fondo Italiano is to favor the growth of the Italian economy by managing closed-ended funds. The funds managed by FII SGR are aimed at conveying patient capital to Italian companies of excellence with a return on investment in line with international benchmarks.
To date, FII SGR manages a total of 10 closed-ended alternative investment funds reserved to qualified investors, with Assets Under Management target in excess of €3.5 billion and operates both through direct investments and fund of funds’ activity.
FII SGR considers sustainability a fundamental value and is committed to integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into its investment activities.
Fondo Italiano Consolidamento e Crescita - FICC is focused on aggregation and growth investments, aimed at supporting the development and internationalization of Italian SMEs of excellence and the consolidation of fragmented supply chains, combining market financial instruments with a mission driven by impact on the industrial system. FICC portfolio companies are: Marval (one of the main European players in the precision machining of cast iron and aluminum components for the powertrain of heavy vehicles, also active in green propulsion such as natural gas, with a strong presence in Asia), Fonderie di Montorso (a leading company in cast iron castings for hydraulics and complex mechanics), Maticmind (a leading company among the system integrators operating in the ICT sector) and Florence Group (a production hub dedicated to luxury apparel, led by Francesco Trapani). FICC is led by Senior Partners Gianpaolo Di Dio and Aldo Di Bernardo. Additional information may be found at http://www.fondoitaliano.it.
About Stellex Capital
Stellex Capital Management is a private equity firm with more than $2.6 billion in committed capital under management that invests in middle-market companies in North America and Europe. Stellex seeks to invest in opportunities where it can deploy capital to provide stability, catalyze operational improvement and foster growth. Stellex is a value-add partner with the ability to provide flexible capital solutions and operational expertise. Portfolio companies benefit from Stellex’s industry knowledge, operating capabilities, network of senior executives, strategic insight and access to capital. Sectors of particular focus include aerospace & defense, automotive, building products, business services, capital equipment, consumer, distribution & logistics, food, general manufacturing, government services, industrial services, and transportation. Additional information may be found at http://www.stellexcapital.com.
About Mecaer Aviation Group
MAG, Mecaer Aviation Group, is a leading international provider of solutions for aircraft systems and services in the Helicopter, Business Aviation and General Aviation markets, with many approvals and qualifications from Regulatory Agencies, Military Organizations, Industry and Customers. The Group is made by two strategic business units: “Integrated Aircraft Systems”, which includes the two business lines Actuation & Flight Control Systems and Landing Systems, and “Aircraft Services”, which includes the two business lines Cabin Interiors and Aircraft MRO & Mission Customization. MAG engineering and development team has a consolidated expertise in developing mechanical, hydraulic, electromechanical and electronic technologies on transversal projects, as well as proprietary technologies. The Group activities are mainly focusing on helicopter and small business jet industry. MAG is headquartered in Borgomanero (NO) and has two production plants in Italy, one in Philadelphia (USA) and one in Laval (Canada). Founded in 1995, through a buy-out from the Group Augusta, the company is currently owned by a long-term intent between highly committed institutional and industrial investors. Additional information may be found at https://www.mecaer.com/.
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Fondo Italiano d’Investimento SGR
Roberto Del Giudice
Fondo Italiano d’Investimento SGR
Tel. +39 02 63532.1
Tel. +39 335 6583925
Stellex Capital Management
Mecaer Aviation Group
Mecaer Aviation Group
VP Customer Support
Tel. +39 0322 837.1