Engineering firm MB Aerospace bought by Blackstone

MB Aerospace chief executive Craig Gallagher

MB Aerospace chief executive Craig Gallagher

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Motherwell-based engineering group MB Aerospace is to be acquired by private equity firm Blackstone, it was announced today.

MB Aerospace was spun out of venerable engineering business Motherwell Bridge in 2007 via a management buy-out led by chief executive Craig Gallagher. A secondary buy-out took place in March 2013, with US-based private equity fund Arlington Capital Partners coming on board.

Arlington has now agreed to sell the business to Blackstone, with the deal – for an undisclosed sum – expected to complete later this year, subject to regulatory approval.

Gallagher, who will continue to lead the existing management team, said: “This significant investment from Blackstone is very positive news for MB Aerospace as a company, for our staff and for our customers. It provides us with a huge opportunity to invest in our people and to continue to grow both organically and through acquisition both in the US and in Europe.”

MB Aerospace manufactures and repairs aero-engine components for customers including General Electric, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce. Earlier this year it unveiled plans for a major investment to ramp up capacity at key sites after annual revenues surged through the $200 million (£130m) mark.

Bruce McEvoy, managing director at Blackstone, said: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with such a high quality management team.

“MB Aerospace is a best-in-class engine component manufacturing and repair platform, and we look forward to supporting the company as it continues to expand its capabilities during its next phase of growth.”

Blackstone was advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Arlington was advised by Moelis & Company and Kirkland & Ellis.

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