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PCC grows airframe supply reach with $600M purchase

Keywords: Tags  PCC, Precision Castparts, airframe, Permaswage, aircraft, aerospace, aerostructures, frank haflich

NEW YORK — Precision Castparts Corp. (PCC) will add to its airframe supply chain portfolio with the acquisition of France-based fittings manufacturer Permaswage SAS.

In its first significant acquisition this year, Portland, Ore.-based PCC will pay $600 million for Permaswage, which has been owned since 2007 by London-based private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital Ltd.

The cash transaction for Permaswage, which employs about 680 people at production facilities in Gardena, Calif., Les Clayes-sous-Bois, France, and Suzhu, China, is expected to be completed by the end of PCC’s fiscal second quarter ending Sept. 30.

PCC said Permaswage’s primary expertise is in swaged fittings, which establish a permanent connection between two tubes, while it has a "growing presence" in separable, or threaded, fittings. Its annual sales were estimated by New York-based investment company Cowen & Co. at $150 million to $200 million.

The Permaswage takeover would be the first major acquisition by PCC since its $2.9-million purchase of titanium producer Titanium Metals Corp. (Timet) in December (, Nov. 9). Most of its recent aerospace fabrication and manufacturing acquisitions have been in the aerostructures sector. Aircraft fluid fittings are generally manufactured from titanium, nickel-based alloys and stainless steel.

The Permaswage acquisition will "extend our reach into permanent fittings, building on the foothold in separable fittings we established" with the 2008 acquisition of Airdrome Holdings LLC, PCC chairman and chief executive officer Mark Donegan said in a statement.

Airdrome consisted of Airdrome Precision Components, a Long Beach, Calif., supplier of hydraulic and pneumatic fluid fittings primarily for airframe applications, and AF Aerospace Ltd., a Rugby, England-based manufacturer of aerospace machined components, including fittings and other fluid conveyance products.

Permaswage said it has secured positions on key new aircraft platforms, including Airbus SAS’ A320neo, A350 and A380 airliners; Boeing Co.’s 737 Max and 787 Dreamliner; the Chinese-built Comac C919 airliner; and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

PCC’s acquisition would give Permaswage a "very capable and resourceful new home," Permaswage president and chief executive officer Andrew Roberts said in a statement.

Bridgepoint said it will retain Permaswage’s power division, DMC Power, a separate business which supplies components for electricity sub-stations and transmission lines.

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