KippsDeSanto & Co. advises Unitech Composites, Inc. (“Unitech”) on its sale to APEX Space and Defense Systems (“APEX”), a portfolio company of Charger Investment Partners. Unitech is a portfolio company of Acorn Growth Companies, Caltius Structured Capital, and The Edgewater Funds.
Headquartered in Hayden, Idaho, Unitech is a leading provider of advanced structural and non-structural composite components and assemblies for defense, business / general aviation, and commercial aerospace platforms. The Company’s products yield weight reduction and reduced cost over platform operational lifecycles compared to traditional metal products that enable greater payload weights to execute demanding missions for warfighters and enhance travel experiences for general aviation and business jet passengers. The Company supports several marquee platforms across major fixed-wing (e.g., F-35 Lightning II, E-7 AEW&C) and rotary-wing (e.g., V-22 Osprey, CH-47 Chinook) aircraft, providing mission-critical composite products with high tolerance requirements such as a functionally essential structure for operating F-35 aircraft with Collins Aerospace; 35+ unique airframe components for the F-35 with Lockheed Martin; airframe structures for major turboprop aircraft; and other specialty components including gap seals, connectors, ducting, winglets, and niche armament structures on various military and business jet aircrafts.
Unitech delivers advanced manufacturing methods specific to composite manufacturing (e.g., autoclave cured epoxy structural parts, fabric-reinforced thermoset resins, carbon fiber reinforced toughened epoxy laminate, etc.). Demonstrated consistent delivery and quality results enables Unitech to maintain 55+ customer certifications with major Tier 1 integrators including Boeing, Airbus, Sikorsky, and Northrop Grumman. Unitech’s partnership with APEX augments the latter’s existing portfolio of space, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (“UAV”), and defense-focused composites products and customers.
Unitech joins two of Charger’s recent acquisitions, Advanced Composite Products & Technology and All American Racers, to form APEX Space & Defense Systems. APEX and its three unique business units delivers innovative, lightweight and durable material manufacturing solutions for the space, defense and mission-critical infrastructure sectors.
This transaction highlights several key trends in the Aerospace and Defense composite markets as supply chain pressures continue to drive demand for providers of complex composite products:
- Growing demand for end-to-end capabilities spanning from design engineering and manufacturing to testing and finishing across entire program lifecycles from original equipment manufacturing (“OEM”) through to aftermarket (“AM”) spares.
- Continued investor interest in critical pieces of high-priority defense platform supply chains, including the F-35 Lightning II, and E-7 AEW&C.
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