Cherokee Nation Businesses, Acorn Growth Companies acquire aerospace firm

Staff reports
10/20/08

TULSA, Okla. – Cherokee Nation Businesses, a wholly owned corporation of the Cherokee Nation, and Acorn Growth Companies have announced the acquisition of Alabama-based Aerospace Products S.E. Inc. APSE is a well-known aerospace parts and logistics firm with offices in Huntsville, Ala., San Antonio, Texas, and Wichita, Kan.

“This acquisition fits our long-term vision of growth for the economy of the Cherokee Nation,” said Brad Carson, CEO of CNB. “APSE adds to our portfolio of aerospace companies and we look forward to working with Acorn Growth Companies to expand APSE’s market share.”

“We are very excited about this transaction because we believe it represents an excellent opportunity to continue to provide the high-quality service that customers have come to expect from APSE,” said Jeff Davis, a partner in Acorn Growth Companies.

“The operational and financial expertise of Acorn within the aerospace and defense community, combined with the expertise and benefits of Cherokee tribal ownership, means that the new APSE will be well positioned to support its customers today, tomorrow and well into the future,” said Rick Nagel, also a partner in Acorn Growth Companies.

“This was a very complex transaction completed in a short time frame,” Carson said. “Cherokee Nation is serious about making strategic acquisitions.”

“This particular transaction is also groundbreaking because it represents a joint acquisition involving the Cherokee Nation and an Oklahoma-based private equity firm which further demonstrates the maturation of the private equity community in the state,” Davis said. “Working with the Cherokees was a pleasure and we were gratified that the transaction was completed very quickly.”

APSE supports numerous key commercial and governmental aircraft programs, including the KC-135, which is based in Oklahoma City at Tinker Air Force Base. APSE’s customers include Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, Boeing Military Programs, Northrop Grumman, Honeywell and Bell Helicopter, among others.

The government, aerospace and defense team of Focus Investment Banking of Washington, D.C., acted as financial advisers to APSE in conjunction with the transaction and introduced the company to Acorn Growth Companies.

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