Trive Capital, AEC, AMRO form Karman

Trive Capital, AEC, AMRO form Karman

Karman Missile & Space Systems is one of the largest independently owned suppliers focused on manufacturing complex systems for the space, missile, interceptor, and hypersonic markets.

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January 27, 2021

Dallas, Texas-based private equity firm Trive Capital has partnered with the senior leadership teams of Aerospace Engineering Corp. (AEC) and AMRO Fabricating Corp. to create Karman Missile & Space Systems. The new company is one of the largest independently owned suppliers focused on manufacturing complex systems for the space, missile, interceptor, and hypersonic markets. The senior leadership teams of both businesses will continue as equity holders and executives at Karman.

Karman operates three centers of excellence in greater Los Angeles, California, a key market for space and missile manufacturing, and maintains a presence in Washington D.C. and Huntsville, Alabama. The company's engineering capabilities and manufacturing footprint benefits from a comprehensive set of OEM approvals and extensive proprietary process IP, which has positioned it on some of the most critical portions of a propulsion system, including engine nozzles, nose cones, iso/ortho-grid body panels, titanium attachment hardware, and heat shields. The platform's broad suite of capabilities includes upfront design, precision machining, large part forming, corking & bonding, complex welding, composite manufacturing (ablative and structural) and special processing.

The formation of Karman creates a unique and comprehensive set of capabilities dedicated to the space sector, allowing for the company to handle end-to-end manufacturing of the most complex sub-assemblies on current and next generation launch vehicles, missiles, and hypersonics. The company is diversified across nearly every major platform and prime in the niche, including Vulcan, GEM-63XL, Artemis, New Glenn, Atlas V, GBSD, GMLRS, THAAD, and PAC-3, among many other programs.

"We are excited to form this new partnership with the collective vision to build an integrated supplier of flight hardware and assemblies for the space and missile markets. Working collaboratively with Trive and AEC will allow us to continue growing with our customers, investing in new capabilities and adding capacity to alleviate current supply chain constraints," commented Mike Riley, Karman CEO and former owner of AMRO.

Mark Mahboubi, Karman CTO and former owner of AEC, added, "Our partnership with AMRO and Trive has already allowed us to accelerate our expansion and play an increasing role in the development and manufacturing of our customers' most important next generation programs. Moreover, the team plans to continue to invest into new technologies and advanced materials for emerging requirements."

David Stinnett, Partner at Trive, stated "Karman is well positioned to benefit from rapidly increasing demand for space launch, missile defenses, and hypersonic weapon technologies with substantial content on the leading platforms currently in development. Both AEC and AMRO have established outstanding reputations for high quality and on-time delivery on the most intricate, difficult to manufacture flight hardware and assemblies. We share management's vision for creating a full-service supplier for these markets and anticipate significant investment to support the capabilities and capacity demanded by customers both now and in the years to come."

D.A. Davidson, an investment bank focused on middle-market mergers and acquisitions, acted as the exclusive advisor to the shareholders of AEC. KAL Capital Markets, a Los Angeles-based investment bank focused on aerospace and defense mergers and acquisitions, acted as the exclusive advisor to the shareholders of AMRO Fabricating Corp.

Trive Capital manages approximately $2 billion in aggregate capital commitments in middle-market companies with the potential for transformational upside through operational improvement.