Audax Private Equity Portfolio Company FDH Aero Completes Minority Recapitalization

Equity infusion will support future growth and provide partial liquidity to FDH Aero’s investor base

SAN FRANCISCO & BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Audax Private Equity (“Audax”), a capital partner for middle and lower middle market companies that seeks to facilitate transformational growth, announced today a recapitalization of portfolio company FDH Aero (“FDH”). This strategic transaction was led by NB Capital Solutions with additional funds advised by Neuberger Berman (together “NB”) joining the ownership group as a significant minority investor. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

Commerce, CA-based FDH Aero is a trusted global supply chain partner for aerospace and defense companies. FDH specializes in c-class components that include hardware, electrical, chemical, and consumable products and services for global OEM and aftermarket customers. With over 1,200 employees, FDH operates global locations in 14 countries across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC.

Audax originally partnered with and invested in FDH through a deal alongside management in 2017, with the goal of building a customer-focused leader in the global aerospace and defense supply chain market. Over the last seven years FDH has grown its top-line by more than fifteen-fold through the combination of add-on acquisitions that expanded the company’s total addressable market and organic growth initiatives that positioned FDH as a preferred “one-stop-shop” for both new and existing customers. The equity investment from NB will allow FDH to continue investing across organic and inorganic initiatives, while allowing Audax to remain the control investor.

“We are pleased to welcome Neuberger Berman as partners to support the next chapter of FDH Aero’s extraordinary evolution,” noted David Wong, Partner, Audax Private Equity. “With an exceptional management team and deep relationships with military and commercial customers across six continents, we expect FDH to extend its market leadership and entrench its position as a premier partner to the global aerospace and defense industry.”

“FDH has established itself as a market leader to aerospace and defense customers, with a demonstrated track record of organic growth that has been augmented by a thoughtful acquisition strategy,” said Nikhil Krishnan, Managing Director, Neuberger Berman Capital Solutions. “We’re excited to continue our partnership with Audax and the company’s management team and believe our investment will allow FDH to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity set in front of the business.”

Scott Tucker, CEO of FDH Aero, added, “Through our partnership with Audax, and now NB’s investment in our future growth, we will continue to enhance our value proposition to both suppliers, who are seeking a reliable channel to market, and customers, who are in need of a high-service supply chain partner with one of the largest product offerings in the industry.”

Jefferies and Harris Williams served as financial advisors to Audax and FDH on the transaction. Kirkland & Ellis served as legal advisor to Audax Private Equity, while Latham & Watkins served in the same capacity to NB Capital Solutions.

About FDH Aero

FDH Aero is a trusted global supply chain partner for aerospace and defense companies. With more than 60 years of experience, it specializes in c-class components that include hardware, electrical, chemical, and consumable products and services for global OEM and aftermarket customers. FDH Aero is headquartered in Commerce, California, and has operations across North America, Europe, and Asia. FDH Aero has locations in 14 countries across the globe, with more than 1,200 best-in-industry employees and over 650,000 square feet of inventory space.

About Audax Private Equity

Based in Boston and San Francisco, Audax Private Equity is a leading capital partner for middle and lower middle market companies that seeks to facilitate transformational growth. With approximately $19 billion of assets under management, over 250 employees, and 100-plus investment professionals, the firm has invested in more than 170 platforms and 1,300 add-on acquisitions since its founding in 1999. Through our disciplined Buy & Build approach, across six core industry verticals, Audax helps portfolio companies execute organic and inorganic growth initiatives that fuel revenue expansion, optimize operations, and significantly increase equity value. For more information, visit www.audaxprivateequity.com or follow us on LinkedIn.

About NB Capital Solutions

NB Capital Solutions provides bespoke capital solutions to private equity-owned companies, enabling sponsors and management teams to achieve long-term strategic objectives. NB Capital Solutions manages $6 billion in capital commitments and has made investments in over 90 companies across its two funds. For more information, please visit www.nbcapitalsolutions.com.

About Neuberger Berman

Neuberger Berman is an employee-owned, private, independent investment manager founded in 1939 with over 2,800 employees in 26 countries. The firm manages $474 billion of equities, fixed income, private equity, real estate and hedge fund portfolios for global institutions, advisors and individuals. Neuberger Berman’s investment philosophy is founded on active management, fundamental research and engaged ownership. UNPRI named the firm a Leader, a designation awarded to fewer than 1% of investment firms for excellence in environmental, social and governance practices. Neuberger Berman has been named by Pensions & Investments as the #1 or #2 Best Place to Work in Money Management for each of the last ten years (firms with more than 1,000 employees). Visit www.nb.com for more information. Data as of March 31, 2024.

Contacts

Zachary Tramonti / Catherine Livingston

FGS Global

Audax@fgsglobal.com