Business

Saturday 20 September 2014

Eirtech signs multi-million euro deal with US private equity house

Published 24/07/2014 | 02:30

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Niall Cunningham

Shannon aviation firm Eirtech is understood to have finalised a multi-million euro deal with US private equity group Vance Street Capital as the Irish business seeks to expand.

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However, it's not clear whether Los Angeles-based Vance Street has acquired a substantial stake in Eirtech, or if it has bought the entire company.

It has used a company called LEAS Acquisition to structure the deal with Eirtech.

Vance Street typically invests in businesses with an enterprise value of between $50m and $200m (€37m to €148m).

A spokesman for Eirtech confirmed earlier this month that the company was "looking at potential development opportunities".

Before the deal was struck, Eirtech was 75pc-owned by chief executive Niall Cunningham, with the remainder owned by chief operating officer Peter Collins. Neither of the executives was contactable yesterday.

Mr Cunningham, pictured, led a management buyout of the Shannon-based Lufthansa Technik Painting business in 2009, providing Eirtech's foundation. Eirtech has since expanded its operational footprint and customer base.

Earlier this month, Vance Street partner Richard Roeder was appointed to the Eirtech board.

Targets

Vance Street's preferred investment and acquisition targets are firms operating in the aerospace and defence sectors, precision manufacturing, and medical products.

Among its current investments is a firm that makes components for the Atlas V launch vehicle used by Nasa, as well as the F-35 joint strike jet-fighter and the Boeing 787.

Another firm in which Vance Street has invested is LA-based Leading Edge Aviation, which also paints aircraft. It has commercial and military customers.

Eirtech paints aircraft for customers including Gulf carriers Etihad and Qatar Airways, as well as Virgin Atlantic.

It also installs aircraft equipment for a number of operators including Canada's Westjet and America's Southwest Airlines.

Eirtech recently painted a Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS) Dreamliner in Dublin with a livery that included the face of artist Edvard Munch.

It's painting a number of additional NAS aircraft in Dublin this year. Eirtech has facilities in Shannon, Dublin, Rome and the Czech Republic.

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