Ontic’s recent acquisition of Firstmark boosts its prospects in two basic ways. First, Firstmark adds two U.S. East Coast locations, in Long Island and North Carolina, to Ontic's locations in the UK, California and Singapore. “As we grow, we need new space and this gives us the opportunity to feed new lines through new places,” says Bob Sadler, Ontic's business development manager.
Second, Firstmark’s products boost Ontic’s part portfolio. Ontic essentially makes parts under licenses from Tier 1 OEMs and also repairs these parts. With Firstmark’s products, Sadler estimates that 90% of the portfolio will be split almost evenly between commercial and military aviation parts, with the other 10% supporting general and business aviation.
Ontic’s portfolio includes a variety of mechanical and electro-mechanical parts, seatbelts, drive motors, fuel probes and such. A company distinction is that it takes over production when an OEM decides that a particular product line is no longer core to its business. This can be especially important to keeping legacy military aircraft flying, but Sadler notes that Ontic also supplies parts for Boeing 777s, 737MAXs and 787s.
Firstmark has some unique capabilities in the military market, says Chris Janke, government sales manager. But its products also complement Ontic’s commercial aircraft offerings. The new Ontic unit makes parts such as motors, tachometers, actuators, torquers, compass calibration systems and fuel valves and probes.
The 50-year-old Ontic generates about $250 million per year in part and repair business sales and is owned by the $2.35-billion-a-year BBA Aviation. Saldler predicts Ontic will continue growing significantly. “We are keeping our eyes open for strategic acquisitions that complement us.”