in Aerospace

Gardner acquisition of Northern Aerospace backed by Nat West

Posted 15 August 2018 · Add Comment

One of the aerospace industry’s largest suppliers of aircraft components, Derby based Gardner Aerospace, has agreed a new £90 million bi-lateral funding package with NatWest, enabling it to expand and aquire precision parts specialist Northern Aerospace.

Above: (left to right) Paul Noel (NatWest Director, Structured Finance ABL), Laurence Ford (Gardner Aerospace, FC), Tony Upton (Gardner Aerospace, CFO), Andrew Garvey (NatWest Director, Aerospace).

Gardner opted for an innovative asset based lending (£60m all asset) and combined term loan (£30m) structure to support their acquisition of Northern Aerospace and to provide further capital for continued growth and expansion of the company.

Headquartered in Victory Park, Derby, Gardner has a number of manufacturing sites in the UK (Derby, Basildon, Broughton, Hull and Pershore) as well as an increasing global footprint that includes Poland, France, India and China. The acquisition of Northern Aerospace adds 600 employees and six further UK and Poland locations to their portfolio.
Established in the 1950s, Gardner Aerospace is a key supplier to leading original equipment manufacturers (OEM) such as Airbus, Embraer, Gulfstream, Pilatus GKN, Rolls Royce, Spirit Aerosystems and Safran. The company will now employ more than 1,050 people in the UK, and 2,200 globally. Its worldwide sales are expected to exceed $300m in 2018-19, making it one of the largest manufacturers of its kind in Europe. In 2017, the Group was acquired by Chengdu based, Shaanxi Ligeance Mineral Resources (SLMR), a Chinese aerospace group who are developing production capacity to target expected supplementary growth in new aircraft production destined for their own market.

Tony Upton, CFO at Gardner, said: “The UK aerospace sector has significant opportunities to grow in line with expected production rate rises, but also huge potential for supplementary growth from newer markets such as China. It is clear that the OEMs are looking at their supply chains for both existing / legacy production and also localised production in new geographies and in this regard, Gardner is well positioned to deliver best in class manufacturing. The acquisition of Northern Aerospace is a very good fit for our Group and the new funding structure will enable us to stay at the forefront in terms of our product and service offerings, efficiency and ability to maintain a high pace of investment in manufacturing capability. Andrew, Paul and the team at Natwest really understand our industry and they remain a key partner for our business.”

Andrew Garvey, Director, Industrials & Aerospace at NatWest, said: “Gardner’s impressive growth trajectory shows that a UK manufacturer can compete and thrive in the global aerospace market and NatWest is pleased to back its expansion plans. The aerospace industry is a major contributor to the UK economy and one of the country’s core strengths in a global marketplace. Gardner has repeatedly proven to have the resources, strategy and ambition to compete on the global stage and we’re excited to support the next stage of their growth.”

Paul Noel, Director of Asset Backed Lending, Structured Finance at NatWest, said: “We have been working with Gardner for a number of years and have developed a great track record of collaborating around M&A and in supporting the needs of the group. Gardner is a highly rated and valued supplier to the majority of global aerospace primes and they consistently demonstrate success through contract wins and new work packages on new airframes. The combined ABL & Term Loan Funding package was structured to provide for the acquisition, working capital and ongoing capex, as well as increasing headroom to support continued organic & acquisitive growth.”

NatWest was advised by Addleshaw Goddard LLP.


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