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KippsDeSanto & Co. advises BEI Precision Systems & Space Company on its Acquisition of Thistle Design

KippsDeSanto & Co. is pleased to announce the acquisition of Thistle Design (MMC) Limited (“Thistle”) by an affiliate of our client, BEI Precision Systems & Space Company, Inc. (“BEI PSSC”), a portfolio company of J.F. Lehman & Co.

Following the acquisition of BEI PSSC in April 2017, J.F. Lehman has bolted-on Thistle to complement BEI PSSC’s portfolio of optical encoders, accelerometers, optical scanners, and custom space instruments, with Thistle’s engineering and production capabilities in encoders, resolvers, and other positioning and measurement sensors.

The acquisition provides BEI PSSC with an expanded, international customer base, as Thistle supports several high-profile UK land system and naval programs alongside several well-known prime contractors. Additionally, Thistle also supports numerous industrial applications for customers throughout the UK and Europe.

BEI PSSC hopes to leverage its strong reputation and customer relationships within the industry to market and promote Thistle’s products in both the U.S. and internationally to create significant value. This marks BEI PSSC’s first acquisition and the Company continues to focus on both organic and inorganic growth opportunities.

KippsDeSanto & Co. is an investment bank focused on delivering exceptional M&A and financing transaction results for leading aerospace, defense, and technology companies. For more information on KippsDeSanto & Co., please visit

Press Release

BEI Precision Systems & Space Company, Inc. Announces Acquisition of Thistle Design (MMC) Limited

November 14, 2018
NEW YORK – BEI Precision Systems & Space Company, Inc. (“BEI PSSC”), a portfolio company of J.F. Lehman & Company (“JFLCO”), announced today the recent acquisition of Thistle Design (MMC) Limited (“Thistle”) by one of its affiliates.
Headquartered in Loanhead, Scotland, Thistle is a supplier of encoders, resolvers, and other positioning and measurement sensors for the defense and industrial markets, primarily in the UK.
BEI PSSC is a leader in high-accuracy positioning sensor technologies, providing advanced design, manufacturing and testing for reliable and resilient products and systems. BEI PSSC’s core product lines, which are used primarily in mission-critical defense and space applications, include optical encoder-based positioning systems, scanners for situational awareness requirements and precision accelerometers. BEI PSSC is headquartered in Maumelle, Arkansas, and has a longstanding track record of technological innovation, with corporate roots dating back to 1862.
“Thistle is BEI PSSC’s first add-on acquisition and represents an important step in executing BEI PSSC’s strategy of augmenting organic development with complimentary add-on acquisitions,“ said Steve Brooks, Partner at JFLCO. “Thistle’s dedicated engineering talent, proprietary suite of products, and focus on customer service represents a strong strategic fit with BEI PSSC’s core operating principles. We are looking forward to further serving our collective customer bases with this broadened portfolio of solutions,” added Will Hanenberg, Principal at JFLCO.
KippsDeSanto & Co. served as financial advisors to BEI PSSC and JFLCO and Jones Day (lead counsel) and Miller & Chevalier Chartered (international trade, government contracts and defense security compliance matters) provided legal counsel.