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Carlyle Builds Aviation Portfolio with Nordam Stake

The U.S. MRO applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year following a PW800 nacelle system dispute with Pratt & Whitney Canada.

Private equity’s interest in the aftermarket has continued into 2019 with Carlyle’s deal to take a stake in U.S. engineering and maintenance company Nordam.

The move will help Nordam exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which it sought in mid-2018 after a contract dispute with Pratt & Whitney Canada over the PW800 nacelle system for corporate jets.

In 2010, the Canadian engine manufacturer chose Nordam to supply the inlet, nacelle, thrust reverser and certain other components for PW800 series engines, but in 2018 the two parties became embroiled in a contract dispute. Unable to resolve the disagreement, Nordam then halted production of nacelle systems for that engine.

Tulsa-based Nordam produces commercial, business and military nacelle systems, composite structures and provides third-party maintenance services.

“With this investment and the support of Carlyle’s global platform, we are confident that the company will have the right capital structure and resources to continue its legacy as a best-in-class aerospace manufacturer and provider of MRO services,” says Shary Moalemzadeh, managing director and co-head of Carlyle Strategic Partners.

Carlyle is among the busiest private equity investors in aerospace, and its latest investment follows a late-2018 announcement that it would invest in StandardAero for a second time. Other active aviation investments include supply chain management specialist Wesco Aircraft; engine component manufacturer Dynamic Precision; ground handler PrimeFlight; and aircraft lessor Carlyle Aviation Partners, which was created after the firm acquired Apollo Aviation.

Notable exited investments include ARINC, Aviall and Italian manufacturer Avio.

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