The Birmingham team at regional private equity house LDC has backed a management buy-out at a company that designs and builds cabin interiors for aircraft.
LDC, a division of Lloyds Banking Group, invested into the the MBO at AIM Aviation – its sixth transaction of the year.
AIM was set up in the 1920s and has long-term contracts with both the military and civil aviation sectors. Customers include Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, Etihad and Qatar, for which it makes bars, lounges and cabin areas, as well as lighting and other fittings.
The MBO of the firm is being led by group chief executive Mark Edwards, alongside Peter Forbes, Keith Robinson and Paul Seaford, the managing director of the three main divisions of the firm.
Chris Thomas, who has worked with LDC on a number of previous successful transactions becomes chairman.
Commenting on the investment, Mr Edwards said: "The management team is delighted to be acquiring AIM at an exciting stage in the group’s development. It is well positioned for growth and the financial backing of LDC and strategic support it brings can only help realise these opportunities."
The deal was led at LDC by Midlands managing director Martin Draper, alongside investment directors Steve Aston, Andy Lyndon and Andy Grove.
Mr Aston said: "We are delighted to be investing in AIM. The business has benefitted from its relationship with growing airlines and being positioned on the wide-body platforms such as the A380, B787 and A350 where AIM’s premium interiors are particularly suited and go to the heart of an airlines branding. The strong OEM order book provides a robust base for further growth."
Birmingham-based advisers on the deal included Andy Currie and Jeremy Harrison at Catalyst Corporate Finance, Richard Edwards and Guy Thomas at Deloittes on financial due diligence and Sue Lewis and Louise Fleming at Eversheds were legal advisers to LDC. The Banking facilities were provided by Paul Whitehouse and Andy Taylor at Lloyds Banking Group and Peter Talbot and David Jamieson at RBS.
It is the fourth deal of 2010 for LDC in the Midlands. The outfit as a whole has invested £120 million this year.