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Exponent Private Equity (“Exponent”), today announces the acquisition of Pattonair, the Supply Chain Division of Umeco plc [LSE:UMC].

Pattonair 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 and Eaton.

Pattonair now has over 680 employees, plans to establish its head office in the UK within its Derby facility, with other facilities based in France, Italy, Germany, Singapore, China and the US. For the year ended 31 March 2010, Pattonair reported revenues of £234.6 million.

Under Exponent's ownership the management team will continue to be led by Wayne Hollinshead, Managing Director of Pattonair Group. He will be supported by Paul Dunkley as Chairman. Mr Dunkley has considerable experience in growing and developing private equity backed businesses.

Wayne Hollinshead said: “This acquisition by Exponent is an 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.”

Commenting on the proposed acquisition, 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 committed to investing in the management team’s exciting growth plans and have ensured that our investment is structured to support this strategy.”

Also commenting, Paul Dunkley said: “Pattonair has a great reputation with customers and suppliers, and a strong pipeline of new business. I look forward to working with 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.”