Harris Williams & Co. Advises Schneller LLC on its Sale to Strategic Buyer TransDigm Group

Buyers Continue to Show Interest in the Aerospace Market
September 1, 2011

Harris Williams & Co., premier middle market investment bank, announces the sale of Schneller LLC, a leading provider of highly-engineered, laminates for surfaces within commercial aircraft, to strategic buyer TransDigm Group Incorporated (Transdigm; NYSE:TDG). Schneller is one of two aerospace platforms held by Graham Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in high growth industrial and manufacturing-related businesses. The transaction closed on August 31, 2011.  Harris Williams & Co. acted as the exclusive advisor to Schneller.  The transaction was led by Jon Nemo, Chris Rogers and Doug Kinard from the firm’s Aerospace, Defense & Government Services (ADG) Group, along with Brent Spiller from the firm’s Richmond office.

“We have known Graham Partners and the Schneller management team for many years, and we are delighted to have represented them in their sale to TransDigm.  Schneller is a terrific aerospace business and the transaction exemplifies the opportunities that are available with the right strategic partner for a leader in a targeted, niche market,” said Jon Nemo, a managing director and head of the ADG Group at Harris Williams & Co.  

"We continue to see strong M&A deal flow in the aerospace market, with both strategic and financial buyers attracted to the solid fundamentals and long-term growth dynamics of the sector," added Chris Rogers, a director at Harris Williams & Co.  

Schneller, headquartered in Kent, Ohio, designs and manufactures proprietary engineered products with a broad base of aftermarket and OEM applications for cabin floors, premium seating, bulkheads, side walls, window shades, lavatories and galleys used on most commercial transport platforms.  For nearly 50 years, Schneller has been a leading supplier to key aerospace customers, including most of the world’s major aircraft OEMs, commercial airlines and leading aircraft interior designers and suppliers.

Graham Partners is a leading, lower-middle market private equity firm based in suburban Philadelphia with over $1.5 billion under management.  Graham Partners is sponsored by the privately held Graham Group of York, Pennsylvania, an industrial and investment concern with global interests in plastics, packaging, machinery, building products and outsource manufacturing.  Graham Partners seeks to acquire industrial and manufacturing-related companies with revenues between $30 million and $500 million that participate in niches where Graham Partners can leverage its unique combination of operating resources and financial expertise to drive value creation.

TransDigm, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is a leading global designer, producer and supplier of highly engineered aircraft components for use on nearly all commercial and military aircraft in service today. Major product offerings, substantially all of which are ultimately provided to end-users in the aerospace industry, include mechanical/electro-mechanical actuators and controls, ignition systems and engine technology, specialized pumps and valves, power conditioning devices, specialized AC/DC electric motors and generators, aircraft audio systems, specialized cockpit displays, engineered latching and locking devices, specialized lavatory components, engineered connectors and elastomers, rods and locking devices, NiCad batteries/chargers, and lighting and control technology.