Weston Group has been sold to Senior plc

Lincoln International (“Lincoln”), a leading global mid-market investment bank, has announced that Senior plc (“Senior”) has acquired 100% of the issued share capital of Weston EU Limited and Weston SEA Limited (collectively “Weston” or the “Weston Group”). Weston, located in Colne, Lancashire (U.K.) and with facilities in Chonburi in Thailand, is principally a manufacturer of precision machined parts and assemblies for the commercial aerospace industry. The facilities in Thailand are well situated, within one hour’s drive of Bangkok and close to the main port of Sriracha, and were unaffected by the recent floods.

Weston specializes in the machining and assembly of aerofoils, aluminum and hard metal structural parts and premium aircraft-seat structures. Its largest customers are Rolls-Royce, Spirit Aerosystems (Europe) and Contour Aerospace. Weston has content on each of the Airbus A320 family, A330, A350 and A380 platforms, either on the engines or the aircraft structure itself. More than 70% of Weston’s revenue for the first 10 months of 2011 was derived either directly or indirectly from Airbus commercial aircraft platforms. Over the past year, Airbus has announced build-rate increases for all of these aircraft types, and consequently, the future prospects for Weston appear highly encouraging. The total consideration for the purchase of Weston was £54.0 million, plus reimbursement of the cash in the Weston business at acquisition. The purchase consideration was paid in cash at completion, with a small potential adjustment to be made after completion dependent upon the level of working capital in the business at the date of acquisition. The transaction was funded through the utilisation of existing cash and debt facilities.

For the year to 31 December 2010, the Weston Group reported sales of £42.5 million and profit before interest, tax and depreciation of £4.2 million. The unaudited management accounts of the business for the 10 months to the end of October 2011 show sales of £45.4 million and profit before interest, tax and depreciation of £5 million. Gross assets of the business are approximately £23.5 million. The existing management team will continue to manage the business which will operate within Senior’s Aerospace Structures Division. The acquisition is expected to be immediately earnings enhancing.

Commenting on the acquisition, Mark Rollins, Senior Group Chief Executive, said, “I am very pleased to announce the acquisition of Weston and to welcome all of its employees to the Senior Group. Weston represents an excellent strategic addition to Senior’s Aerospace Structures Division, with Weston’s European and Asian locations, and predominantly Airbus exposure, providing an excellent complementary fit with the Structures Division’s existing North American, and largely Boeing, footprint. Weston has a well-established reputation in the aerospace industry and its capabilities, combined with Senior’s wider market access and financial strength, and the current healthy commercial aerospace markets, are expected to further enhance the future growth prospects for the Senior Group.”

Commenting on the transaction, Richard Sutton, Chief Executive of Weston Group, said, “I would like to record our sincere thanks to the Lincoln team for providing excellent support throughout the sale process. The Lincoln team members complemented each other extremely well and their sensitive approach ensured that our transaction ran smoothly.”

Teresa Clegg, Director in Lincoln International’s Global Aerospace and Defence Group, said, “Aerostructures is a core expertise of Lincoln’s Global Aerospace and Defence team, and we are pleased to have assisted in realising this transaction, which is of strategic importance to both Senior and Weston.”

Darren Redmayne, U.K. Chief Executive of Lincoln International, said, “Lincoln International is delighted to have advised the shareholders of Weston, a truly global aerospace supplier. Although these remain uncertain times, we are finding that high-quality businesses continue to attract strong strategic interest, particularly in certain subsectors such as commercial aerospace.”

Weston has been sold to Senior Connect with a Senior Team Member

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