Private equity giant Warburg Pincus said Friday it has agreed to buy, through an affiliate, aftermarket aircraft parts maker Wencor Group from private equity group Odyssey Investment Partners. While a Warburg Pincus spokesman declined to disclose the deal’s terms, Reuters pegged the value of the transaction at between $800 million and $900 million.
Springville, Utah-based Wencor, which was established in 1955, provides more than 3,700 customers around the world with a range of components that includes bearings and electrical components for military, commercial and general aviation. The company also has design and repair capabilities and provides services to the U.S. and foreign militaries.
The transaction is slated to close in the second quarter of this year, subject to the usual regulatory approvals, according to the company press release announcing the deal.
In a statement included in the press release, Wencor Group CEO Greg Beason said, “We are excited to have Warburg Pincus as our partner for the next chapter in the company’s growth given their deep aerospace investing experience and focus on supporting growing businesses. We thank Odyssey for their partnership and support.”
In the same release, Warburg Pincus managing partner Dan Zamlong said in the same release, “We are very pleased to partner with Greg and the Wencor management team and believe there is significant opportunity to build on Wencor’s success by developing new product and repair offerings.”
The Wenacor acquisition is the second recent aviation-related deal for Warburg Pincus. Last month, the private equity firm agreed to buy a majority stake in airline-technology firm mercator from Emirates Group in Dubai.
Warburg Pincus has turned to its frequent outside counsel at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton as its lead legal adviser on the transaction. The Cleary team is led by mergers and acquisition partners David Leinwand and Matt Salerno; financing partner Meme Peponis; partner Michael Albano on employee and benefit matters; tax partner Jason Factor; and intellectual property counsel Daniel Ilan. All of the Cleary lawyers are based in New York.
Past matters on which Cleary has advised Warburg Pincus include the private equity firm’s $6 billion sale of Neiman Marcus and its $914 million purchase of a 50 percent stake in Santander’s asset management arm late last year.
Warburg Pincus, which hired former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as president and managing director in March, is also being represented in the matter by a Sutherland Asbill & Brennan team that includes partner Jeffrey Bialos and counsel Christer Mossberg in the corporate practice; and partner Mark Herlach and associate Lillian Forero in the energy practice.
Odyssey and Wencor, meanwhile, have turned to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher as their lead outside counsel on the transaction. The Gibson Dunn team includes Los Angeles-based partner J. Keith Biancamano; Century City, Calif.-based of counsel Andrew Hirsch and Los Angeles-based associate David Koch-Weser on mergers and acquisitions; global finance partners Linda Curtis and Andrew Cheng, both of whom work out of Los Angeles; Los Angeles-based partner Hatef Behnia and associate Andrew Kreisberg on tax matters; and Century City-based partner Sean Feller on labor and employment issues. Palo Alto partner David Kennedy handled intellectual property matters.
A Gibson Dunn spokeswoman said the firm has served as Wencor’s counsel on all of the company’s acquisitions since Odyssey bought it for an undisclosed sum in February 2010. Reports that Odyssey was hoping to find a buyer for Wencor first surfaced in the media in December. At the time, the potential purchase price was estimated at $600 million, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek.