Graham Partners Inc. has sold Schneller Inc. — a maker of plastic aerospace laminates — to aerospace supplier TransDigm Group Inc. for almost $300 million.
The Newtown Square, Pa.-based private equity firm had owned Schneller of Kent, Ohio, since 2007. In an Aug. 31 news release, Graham officials said the sale price represents a multiple of 3.4 times Schneller's gross earnings.
Schneller makes highly engineered laminates and non-textile flooring for use on side walls, lavatories, galleys, bulkheads and cabin floors in commercial jets. The firm is a preferred or sole supplier to key aerospace customers, officials said.
During Graham's ownership, officials said Schneller expanded aftermarket opportunities and developed a number of new products, including an eco-friendly, lightweight floor covering.
Cleveland-based TransDigm will pay $289 million for Schneller, which expects to post sales of $84 million this year. TransDigm had sales of almost $1.1 billion in its fiscal 2010. The firm is a designer, producer and supplier of engineered components for military and commercial aircraft.
Schneller “is a well-established, proprietary aerospace business with both significant aftermarket content and an outstanding reputation with the world's airlines,” TransDigm Chairman and CEO W. Nicholas Howley said in a news release. “The company fits well with TransDigm's products and market strategies.”
Schneller opened in 1964 when founder John Schneller developed a vinyl-coated fiberglass cloth to provide a durable headliner for Douglas C3 aircraft. In addition to Kent, Schneller has locations in Paris, Singapore and Pinellas Park, Fla.
The sale of Schneller is the second plastics-related deal of the year for Graham. In July, the firm bought PVC window extruder Chelsea Building Products of Oakmont, Pa., from Tessenderlo Group for an undisclosed sum.
In 2010, Graham bought the corrugated plastic pipe unit of Blue Diamond Industries LLC of Lexington, Ky. Graham also is part-owner of packaging giant Berry Plastics Corp. of Evansville, Ind.