It’s beginning to feel like there is as much news relating to acquisition as there is to innovation in the aircraft interiors sector nowadays. This week alone has seen Boeing acquire EnCore Group, an announcement swiftly followed by news that AIM Aerospace, a designer and producer of composite structures, systems, engine components and thermoplastic technology, is to be acquired by Sekisui Chemical Group (Sekisui) in a US$510 million cash deal due to complete in Q4 2019.
AIM Aerospace is based in Renton, Washington and was founded in 1988 as part of the UK-based AIM Group. The company now has more than 1,000 employees operating from its manufacturing centres of excellence and its research and technology centre located in the USA, and a client list that includes Boeing, GE, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Spirit AeroSystems.
In 2016 AIM Aerospace was acquired by Liberty Hall, a private equity firm focused on investments in businesses serving the global aerospace and defence industry, with a view to the company serving as the foundational asset of the firm’s strategy to build a fully integrated, diversified composites supplier. The next stage of the strategy came in 2017, when Liberty Hall acquired Quatro Composites, a supplier of advanced composite structures, components and assemblies for the aerospace industry, and integrated the company into AIM Aerospace.
AIM Aerospace’s product range now includes primary structural aerospace components such as splice straps, fairings and wing components, as well as secondary structures including stow bin brackets, shim stock and drill coupons, composite panel assemblies, escape slide packboards and floor panels.
The company also manufactures aircraft interior structures including seating furniture, lavatories, overhead stowage bins, crew rest modules, sidewalls, cargo liners, closets and dividers, BTP galleys, flight deck doors, life raft stowage, closets, crushed core seat shells, and video control cabinets.
“Over the past three years through our partnership with AIM Aerospace, the company has expanded its capabilities, diversified its customer base and extended its geographic reach. AIM Aerospace is now leading the way in the implementation of advanced thermoplastics and intelligent automation for aerospace in North America,” said Rowan Taylor, Liberty Hall’s founding and managing partner. “As demand for composite components continues to increase, we are pleased that AIM Aerospace is well-positioned to deliver a new generation of complex products to the industry. We are very proud to transfer leadership to Sekisui to oversee the next chapter in AIM Aerospace’s expansion.”
Daniele Cagnatel, CEO of AIM Aerospace added, “We appreciate the support of Liberty Hall in preparing us to reach the next stage of growth. We are excited to join the Sekisui Group, and plan to leverage their strong industrial, material and manufacturing expertise to further enhance our capabilities, as well as utilise their global presence to better serve our current and emerging customer needs.”