AEVEX to get new private equity owners

Defense technology provider AEVEX Aerospace is currently owned by one private equity firm and will soon be held by two of them with the founder-management team also having a stake.

In a release Monday, Madison Dearborn Partners and CoVant Management have agreed to acquire majority ownership of AEVEX from its current owner and fellow private equity firm Trive Capital. Terms of the transaction were undisclosed and AEVEX’s leadership team will retain what it called a “significant ownership position.”

AEVEX provides airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance services to the U.S. military, other federal agencies and commercial businesses. Those services include flight test support to develop new collection aircraft, operating an unmanned aerial vehicle and analyzing data after it is gathered.

The company and its approximately 600 employees focus on developing agile and customized software that supports data processing, exploitation and distribution along with tailored hardware for airborne ISR.

MDP and CoVant expect to close the deal by the end of this month. They have worked together for eight years regarding investments in government technology companies, CoVant CEO Joseph Kampf said in a release.

That includes their backing of LGS Innovations for five years until its acquisition by CACI International last year for $750 million. The investment firms purchased space systems integrator LinQuest Corp. in 2018.

Trive Capital formed AEVEX three years ago through a merger of portfolio company Merlin Global Services with CSG Solutions.

William Blair is serving as AEVEX’s financial adviser with Haynes and Boone, LLP serving as legal adviser. Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Crowell & Moring LLP are serving as legal advisers to MDP and CoVant. CSP Associates and The Chertoff Group provided transaction advisory services to MDP and CoVant. Debt financing will be provided by GSO Capital Partners, an affiliate of The Blackstone Group Inc., and Carlyle Global Credit.

William Blair served as lead financial adviser to AEVEX, while KAL Capital was also a financial adviser and Haynes and Boone provided legal counsel.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also connect with him on LinkedIn.

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