CoVant, Madison Dearborn to Buy Airborne ISR Tech Provider AEVEX Aerospace

Jeff Brody

Madison Dearborn Partners and CoVant Management have signed an agreement to purchase AEVEX Aerospace, a provider of airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, for an undisclosed sum.

The transaction is expected to be finalized by the end of the first quarter of 2020, subject to customary closing conditions, the companies said in a joint release published Monday.

MDP and CoVant will own a majority stake in AEVEX, while founders and members of AEVEX’s management team will maintain a significant minority ownership position in the company.

AEVEX CEO Brian Raduenz said the partnership with CoVant and MDP would help the company expand its AISR platforms, attract and retain talent, advance investment in innovation and provide clients with advantage to decide in dynamic mission environments.

AEVEX delivers full-spectrum AISR systems and services, including sensor modification and sustainment, custom design and engineering and intelligence data processing, exploitation and dissemination platforms, to the intelligence community, special operations and the Department of Defense. The company has approximately 600 employees supporting intelligence solutions, flight operations and engineering and technology business units.

“AEVEX has generated strong growth in recent years, and we will support Brian and his team as they build on that momentum with new investment in AEVEX’s business development and pipeline expansion, technology research and development, and pursuit of strategic acquisition opportunities that enhance future growth and extend the full spectrum of capabilities the company can offer its customers,” said Matt Norton, head of MDP’s business and government software and services team. 

William Blair and Haynes and Boone respectively serve as AEVEX’s financial and legal advisers in the transaction.

Kirkland & Ellis and Crowell & Moring advise MDP and CoVant on the deal’s legal aspect, while The Chertoff Group and CSP Associates offered transaction advisory services. Carlyle Global Credit and GSO Capital Partners, an affiliate of The Blackstone Group, will provide debt financing in support of the acquisition.

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