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US firm swoops for Birmingham manufacturer in £106m deal

Dunlop Aircraft Tyres has been snapped up New York-based Liberty Hall Capital Partners

Dunlop Aircraft Tyres
Dunlop Aircraft Tyres has been acquired in a £106m deal

Historic Birmingham manufacturer Dunlop Aircraft Tyres has been acquired by a US private equity house for £106 million.

New York-based Liberty Hall Capital Partners is focused exclusively on investments in businesses serving the global aerospace and defence industries and the acquisition of Dunlop Aircraft Tyres is its first into a company working in these sectors.

Dunlop Aircraft Tyres, which was founded in 1910, operates from a base in Castle Browmich and also has factories in North Carolina and Jinjiang, China, employing a total of 570 staff.

Its products are found on more than 150 commercial, regional and military aircrafts and it serves more than 300 global customers including airline operators and manufacturers across more than 85 countries.

The existing management team, led by chief executive Gordon Roper, will remain in their roles following the acquisition from AAC Capital Partners, the private equity firm which has owned the manufacturer since 2007.

Mr Roper said: "Management's day-to-day focus will be on continuing to execute our successful business strategy.

"Liberty Hall, with its deep experience, knowledge and relationships within the global aerospace industry, is ideally positioned to help us accelerate the outstanding growth record that we have demonstrated in recent years."

Liberty Hall's founding partner Rowan Taylor added: "Our intention is to steward the legacy, reputation and brand name that Dunlop Aircraft Tyres has built over its 100-plus year lifetime to grow the company into an independent, global, diversified supplier of aircraft tire products of the highest value.

"With a globally recognised brand, proven history of customer service, exemplary technology and a well-balanced portfolio of platforms in the civil and military aircraft sectors, the business is ideally placed to continue to outperform the market.

"The company has also executed a successful business strategy based upon geographic expansion, product and technology range enhancement and modernisation."

This deal is Liberty Hall's second acquisition in Birmingham after it bought Bromford Industries last year.

Also based in Castle Bromwich, Bromford Industries supplies engine components, fabrications and assemblies and landing gear components for the global aerospace and power generation industries.

Advisers to Liberty Hall on the deal were Macquarie Capital (Europe), Royal Bank of Scotland, Permira Credit Solutions Funds, Macquarie Corporate Holding, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.

Sellers and management were advised by Rothschild & Co, CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang and Macfarlanes.

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