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PCC back to aero buys, will acquire Synchronous

Keywords: Tags  Precision Castparts Corp, PCC< Synchronous Aerospace Group, aerospace machining, titanium, Frank Haflich

LOS ANGELES — Precision Castparts Corp. (PCC) is back to buying aerospace machining capabilities with the proposed acquisition of Synchronous Aerospace Group, following a brief break in strategy to pick up titanium capacity.

PCC—which recently said it would acquire Titanium Metals Corp. (Timet) for $2.9 billion (, Nov. 9)—said this week it expects to complete the purchase of Santa Ana, Calif.-based Synchronous, which makes mechanical assemblies for the commercial aerospace and defense markets, by the end of the year. Financial details of the proposed cash transaction weren’t disclosed.

Portland, Ore.-based PCC also didn’t disclose Synchronous’ annual sales but Synchronous’ primary shareholder, Littlejohn & Co. LLC, a Greenwich, Conn.-based private equity firm, lists its annual sales as $130 million.

Mark Donegan, PCC’s chairman and chief executive officer, called the Synchronous purchase “another tuck-in acquisition” following its $900-million buy of Bellevue, Wash.-based Primus International Inc., then PCC’s largest machining acquisition, according to a statement.

Synchronous is expected to further round out PCC’s growing presence in the aerostructures business, which before 2011 represented only a small part of its overall business.

Synchronous—which employs 690 and also has facilities in Kent, Wash., Wichita, Kan., and Tulsa, Okla.—manufactures such assemblies as high-lift mechanisms and secondary flight controls, along with such structural components as wing ribs, bulkheads, and track and beam assemblies. Donegan pointed out that its gantry machining capabilities will allow PCC to make “larger components and to machine as many as four to five parts simultaneously.”

The Synchronous purchase would also highlight another theme in PCC’s recent acquisitions: integrating the supply chain within the parent company.

“In addition, we can pull in-house the fasteners, forgings and castings that Synchronous currently purchases on the outside,” said Donegan, who cited PCC’s traditional business groups and to which it has been adding aerospace machining.

The Timet acquisition was also in large part a move to close the supply chain loop; Donegan previously indicated that PCC had been looking to pick up a source of titanium metal to supply its forging operations.

Among the other aerospace machining and manufacturing operations acquired by PCC this year are Centra Industries Inc., Cambridge, Ontario; three operations from Montreal-based Héroux-Devtek Inc.; and Klune Industries Inc., North Hollywood, Calif.

In addition, PCC has purchased two service providers—Dickson Testing Co. Inc., South Gate, Calif., and Aerocraft Heat Treating Co., Paramount, Calif.—that support its aerospace forging business. 

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