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Today (29th July 2011) marks the completion of the acquisition by Exponent Private Equity (“Exponent”) of Pattonair from Umeco plc for £145.8 million.

Headquartered in Derby, Pattonair has around 780 employees and is a leading international provider of value-added distribution and supply chain outsourcing services to customers in the aerospace and defence market, specialising in the supply of small and medium value components. Customers include Rolls-Royce plc, BAE Systems, Safran Group, Parker Aerospace, Goodrich, Thales Aerospace, Turbomeca, Agusta Westland and Eaton.

Under Exponent’s ownership the existing Pattonair management team will continue to be led by Wayne Hollinshead, Group Managing Director.

Richard Tudor of Exponent said: “Pattonair is a leader in the Aerospace supply market which has an increasing trend towards outsourcing and significant growth potential backed by a strong order pipeline. We are delighted to be backing Wayne Hollinshead and his team in their buyout from Umeco plc. We look forward to working with the management team to realise its plans for continued strong growth and have ensured that our investment is structured to support this strategy.”

Wayne Hollinshead said: “The Management Team is pleased to be backed by Exponent as we enter this exciting next step in the development of Pattonair. Our stated objective is to be the leading global Aerospace and Defence supply chain service provider and we are delighted to be backed on this journey by Exponent.”

Wayne will be supported by Paul Dunkley as Chairman. Paul has considerable experience in growing and developing private equity backed businesses. He led the MBO of Camden Motors from Barclays Bank PLC in 1996 and since then has developed, invested in, acquired and sold a number of businesses.

Paul Dunkley, Pattonair Chairman, said: “Pattonair has a great reputation with customers and suppliers, and a strong pipeline of new business. I look forward to working with Wayne and the management team to ensure we partner with our customer base by expanding our scope of services to them and pursuing opportunities alongside them in new geographic markets.”

Pattonair has facilities based in the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Singapore, China and the US. For the year ended 31 March 2010, Pattonair reported revenues of £234.6 million.

Burdale Financial Limited (“Burdale”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of Ireland Group, underwrote an Asset Based Lending facility to partially fund the acquisition and to fund the Company's continued growth. Venture Finance PLC and Royal Bank of Scotland Invoice Finance have joined the syndicate at closing.