PCE Investment Bankers, a leading financial services firm for mid-market companies, is pleased to announce the sale of Williams Electric Company (WEC) to Parsons Corporation. WEC specializes in control system integration, electrical and general contracting, and energy infrastructure solutions. Customers of WEC include U.S. federal government agencies and facilities, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). PCE served as exclusive financial advisor to WEC.
Business owners thinking about transitioning out of their companies must consider factors that help identify and target buyers of choice. Certainly, active acquirers that consistently demonstrate an ability to pay handsome prices, close deals rapidly and continuously create shareholder value via acquisitions is a winning combination.
Across almost every aerospace industry segment, pricing multiples are down, and owners of middle-market businesses considering the sale of their businesses are anxious over the recession’s impact on upcoming decisions to sell.
Business aviation is doing quite well, unlike the air transport sector which struggles with high fuel prices along with many other industries. These good times are driving a wave of business aviation merger and acquisition (M&A) activity that’s producing prices not seen since the dot-com era.
Florida is home to the largest number of independent maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) companies in the United States. While mega-deals such as Dubai Aerospace Enterprises’ acquisitions of SR Technics, Standard Aero and Landmark Aviation garner press attention, smaller MRO companies are being acquired at record levels with scarce media attention. In this issue we take a closer look at this interesting segment.
In the 25 June 2007 issue of the PCE Aerospace & Defense Newsletter, we presented a bullish 12-18 month outlook on the modeling, simulation & training (MS&T) sector, and per our predictions, deal activity and prices obtained by sellers have remained high. MS&T owners have continued to receive a median 1.8x sales price when selling their companies.
I recently returned from a meeting on the west coast attended by CEO’s, corporate development officers, and industry advisors to the defense and aerospace industry. The managing director of a large international investment bank best summed up the sentiment of the participants when he said, “I wish I were here to say we are entering a big M&A cycle. Rather, we think we are entering a period that will be filled with soul searching and analysis.”
Each March, leading defense/aerospace and federal IT investors and corporate development executives meet in Reston, Virginia, to take stock of what’s changed – and what hasn’t – in the competitive landscape of the rapidly evolving defense & aerospace industry.
Industry leaders at the Strategic Research Institute’s 5th Annual Defense & Aerospace Investor & Corporate Development Conference observed that 2005 appears to be on track to meet or exceed the M&A activity in 2004. Eighteen transactions were already announced in the government services sector in January, compared to 8 announced deals in January 2004. The escalated trend was reinforced the first morning of the conference by the announcement the previous day of the $3.9 + billion acquisition of United Defense Industries, Inc. by BAE Systems North America.
As I sat in the dark and listened to Hurricane Charley wreak havoc on my home and yard, I reflected on what I heard only days before at the Defense & Aerospace Investor & Corporate Development Conference. Pentagon, industry, and Wall Street experts met in San Diego, California to discuss issues ranging from defense and aerospace market drivers to who the winners and losers are in this rapidly changing sector. The “big” take-away was not about market drivers. Instead, it was this sector’s advancement or prompt movement from the calm “eye” into the “back-side of this mighty storm.”