RSM advises leading UK aircraft manufacturer on multi million pound investment

RSM’s corporate finance team has advised one of Britain’s leading aerospace design and engineering companies on raising £7.75m of investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF).

Aircraft seat manufacturer Acro is the fourth largest economy seating manufacturer in the world, supplying seats to more than 20 airlines including Thomas Cook and Frontier. The company was recently chosen as the preferred seat supplier for 50 new Airbus aircraft ordered by Spirit, a US low-cost carrier operating flights throughout the Americas.

Under the leadership of CEO Chris Brady, Acro has enjoyed significant growth, with the business expected to deliver revenues of £33m by the end of January 2016.

The BGF investment provides development capital and partial equity release for the founding shareholders, and the funding will be used to invest in Acro’s design and product development capabilities, strengthen its supply chain and provide additional working capital to fund the company’s future order pipeline.

The deal was led by RSM’s Kirsty Sandwell, Adam Spencer and Gemma Legg, and tax advice was provided by Chris Sparkes, Helen Relf and Andrew Neuman.

Kirsty Sandwell, RSM’s Head of Corporate Finance in the South, said:

‘Acro is one of the most exciting businesses I have worked with in recent years, and we are delighted to have supported them throughout this process. The global aircraft interiors market is set to grow significantly over the coming years and Acro is remarkably well placed to benefit from this growth – it is a true “Best of British” success story. We look forward to working closely with Chris and his team as well as new investors BGF as they continue to develop Acro into a world-beater.”

Ben Kirby, BGF investor, said:

‘In an industry which is incredibly risk averse and highly regulated for obvious reasons, Acro has managed to build a fantastic reputation and market share in a relatively short space of time. It has achieved this primarily by designing seats which put customer comfort first but are also robust, maintainable and lightweight. Passing the strict the regulations required to manufacture aircraft seating is a strong endorsement of both the design and manufacturing capabilities of the business.

“It is fantastic to be backing such a high quality UK manufacturing business which is addressing a strong and growing end market. We look forward to partnering with Chris and the rest of the Acro team to continue growing the business.’

Chris Brady, CEO of Acro Aircraft Seating, said:

‘I would like to thank the team at RSM for their hard work and dedication throughout this process. They remained calm, proactive and measured throughout and we wouldn’t be where we are without them. They introduced an ideal partner in BGF and, above all, they delivered an excellent result for me and the co-founding shareholders.