Gardner grows in France

Derbyshire-based Gardner Group's major investor, Better Capital PCC Limited, has acquired the French aerospace Group Airia SAS. 

Gardner has been looking to establish a substantial footprint in the important French aerospace industry and says it is delighted to have been able to acquire a business with sound growth plans of its own.


Derbyshire-based Gardner Group Limited has announced that its major investor, Better Capital PCC Limited, has acquired 100% of the shares of the French aerospace Group Airia SAS (“Airia”) and its subsidiary Financiere Maz’air SAS through a new company named Gardner-Airia Holdings S.A.S.

Gardner Aerospace Holdings Limited has also been created to be the new parent company of both Gardner-Airia Holdings SAS and Gardner Group Limited thus bringing the two groups together operationally.

Gardner Aerospace has for a number of years been looking to establish a substantial footprint in the highly important French Aerospace industry and says it is delighted to have been able to acquire a business with sound growth plans of its own. Nick Sanders, Head of Portolio at Better Capital LLP and Chairman of Gardner commented “The acquisition of Group Airia SAS is not only a significant strategic move for Gardner but also a major step in the overall consolidation of the aerospace components manufacturing sector. Gardner’s key customers have, for some time, been looking to suppliers in the sector to create scale and recognise that common ownership is the ultimate solution. The creation of this new Anglo-French company is a real first for the sector and is testament to the vision of both Groups and their customers.”

Speaking from Gardner Group’s brand new HQ facility in Derby in the Midlands, Phil Lewis, CEO of Gardner said “The coming together of Gardner and Airia will deliver a number of synergies that will not only be of benefit to the companies themselves but in particular for our customers. Gardner has established significant manufacturing operations in Poland and so Airia will now have access to the established and approved low cost sources it has been seeking for some time. Airia, through its different trading subsidiaries, will bring long standing experience of manufacturing sheet metal parts from hard metal and producing complex sub–assemblies to the overall organisation, and gain access to Gardner’s significant in house surface treatments capacity and large scale European based Speed Shop operations”.

 

The new Group will have 2012 sales in excess of $160m and over 1,300 employees making Gardner Aerospace Holdings one of Europe’s largest independent suppliers of aerospace detail parts. Airia SAS and Financiere Maz’air SAS consist of six trading companies, Maz’air and Salvaire near Toulouse, Fibres de Berre and SOROP in Marignane, and CEMA and S’Industries in Lyon. These companies supply metallic and composite aerospace detail parts and complex sub-assemblies to major French customers including, amongst others, Airbus, Eurocopter, Latecoere, EADS Sogerma, Labinal, Daher Socata, and Aubert & Duval.

Gardner is the UK’s largest independently owned manufacturer of metallic aerospace details and sub-assemblies. Gardner is headquartered in Derby and has six manufacturing sites in the UK and two in Poland. Gardner’s customers include Airbus, Rolls-Royce, GKN, Spirit, Eurocopter and many other major international companies in the aviation sector.

Gardner Blade picture

This high-tech tooling for aero-engine parts is made by Gardner's Blade facility in Worcester, along with Derby one of two Gardner factories in the Midlands.