industrial and industrial technology investing

Fernweh News

Fernweh News

  • November 16, 2022

    Fernweh Group and Dabico Corporation Sign Agreement to Acquire A-Bridge, LLC to Strengthen Its Turnkey Solutions Capability
    CYPRESS, CA – Fernweh Group LLC (“Fernweh”) and its portfolio company, Dabico Corporation (“Dabico” or “Dabico Airport Solutions”), announced today they have signed an agreement to acquire A-Bridge, LLC (“A-Bridge”), with current A-Bridge investors rolling their investment into the future combined organization. Fernweh and Dabico’s proposed investment in A-Bridge is part of its overall strategy to build a leading global aviation infrastructure platform.
    A-Bridge is one of the largest, pure-play providers of construction, refurbishment, repair, installation, and services for passenger boarding bridges and other forms of ground service equipment (“GSE”). A-Bridge is a US-based service provider with operations based out of Indianapolis, IN and has worked with multiple marquee airports across the United States and Canada, with recent refurbishments performed at Indianapolis International Airport, Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport.
    The proposed acquisition of A-Bridge by Dabico, a leading US-based, global aviation infrastructure player extends Dabico into a full-service, end-to-end solution provider covering design and engineering services, new equipment construction, turnkey solutions, comprehensive after-sales support and extension-of-life services. A-Bridge’s unparalleled track record of supporting all tiers of airports and airlines will further extend Dabico’s reach in North America and help expand its after-market services offerings for customers across other geographies. A-Bridge’s Dew Bridge product line will enable Dabico to partner with non-large hub airports to offer world class boarding experiences to their passengers.
    Nick Santhanam, CEO of Fernweh Group, noted, “As we continue to build our aviation infrastructure platform, we look forward to welcoming A-Bridge into the Dabico and broader Fernweh family. We strongly believe the addition of A-Bridge allows us to deliver best-in-class services and support to our customers in North America, while offering them the widest selection of industry leading GSE products and services. As part of the proposed transaction, Jason Summers will join the Dabico executive leadership team, and continue to drive the next chapter of A-Bridge.”
    Jason Summers, Managing Director of A-Bridge LLC, noted, “We are excited to partner with Dabico Corporation and their investment partner, Fernweh. Fernweh’s exclusive focus on the industrials sector coupled with their EIOM (“Engaged Investor Operator Model”) will allow us to accelerate our trajectory and be a value-added partner to our customers.”
    Dabico’s proposed acquisition of A-Bridge is structured as an equity and cash (paid on achieving certain milestones) transaction. This structure allows the future combined company to focus capital investment on customer service and technological innovation, while allowing investors to continue to participate in the economic upside achieved by bringing the two companies together.
    A-Bridge will also join Dabico and Fernweh in hosting the 2023 Future of Infrastructure Summit (“FIS”), which convenes senior leaders from the airport and aviation sector. The Summit, scheduled for May 2023, will serve as a forum to discuss and engage in a productive dialog on the current macro (e.g., geo-political, market regulations, tech disruptions) and micro (e.g., supply chain relocations, trade labour imbalance) trends facing the sector, and how to navigate and take advantage of them.

    About Fernweh Group LLC

    Fernweh is an investment firm led by leaders from global institutions with prior experience working with companies in the industrial and industrial technology sectors on strategy, M&A, and operational transformation. Fernweh believes that the mid- and small-cap industrial and industrial technology sectors are the backbone of the economy and the engine for its growth. By combining management capability, operational and strategic transformation support, and capital for each company’s unique context, history, and needs, Fernweh aims to be a builder of businesses and create value for all stakeholders. Fernweh’s CEO co-authored the book on the industrial technology sector “Titanium Economy”, which has been on the WSJ best seller list. Learn more at fernweh.com.

    About Dabico Airport Solutions

    Dabico Airport Solutions is a leading global supplier that designs, manufactures, integrates, and services innovative ground support systems for civil and military aviation sectors. Through its comprehensive portfolio, Dabico addresses fuelling, cooling, power, and wet services needs of parked aircraft. With extensive experience and technological expertise, we enable customers to maximize safety, availability, efficiency, and sustainability. Based in the United States, Dabico is globally focused and has operations spanning North America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia. Learn more at dabico.com.
  • October 5, 2022

    Senator Moran Visits Avail Enclosure Systems in Pittsburg, Kansas
    Jeremy Hoffman, VP and GM of Avail Enclosure Systems, and his team hosted Senator Jerry Moran in our Pittsburg, KS location this afternoon. The visit marked the launch of the book “The Titanium Economy: How Industrial Technology Can Create a Better, Faster, Stronger America”, co-authored by Nick Santhanam (Chairman of Avail Infrastructure Solutions) along with Gaurav Batra (President & CEO, Ayna.AI) and Asutosh Padhi (Managing Partner, McKinsey North America). The visit began with Senator Moran and his team touring the facility, followed by a discussion of how Avail — much like several companies profiled in “The Titanium Economy” — has been a “Made in America” company for more than a century and continues to innovate while playing a critical role in enabling our day-to-day lives. In turn, our growth here in Pittsburg, KS has been a boon for the local supplier ecosystem—highlighting the virtuous cycles enabled by healthy industrial enterprises. Senator Moran and his team expressed his strong support for our operations, and we thank both him and his team for their time and encouragement. For more information on Avail Enclosure Systems, https://www.availinfra.com/enclosure-systems/
  • October 5, 2022

    Fernweh Acquires Majority Stake In AZZ’s Infrastructure Solutions Segment And Rebrands As Avail Infrastructure Solutions
    October 3, 2022 – FORT WORTH, TX – Fernweh Group LLC and its affiliates (collectively, “Fernweh”), jointly with AZZ Inc. (“AZZ”) (NYSE: AZZ), announced today they have completed the joint venture partnership (“AIS JV” or “AIS”) involving AZZ Infrastructure Solutions Segment 1 , with AZZ selling a 60% interest in AIS JV to Fernweh at an enterprise value of $300 million. As part of the completion of the transaction, AIS will rebrand as Avail Infrastructure Solutions (“Avail”).

    Avail is a leading provider of specialized products and service solutions designed to support industrial and electrical applications. Avail’s product offering includes customer switchgear, electrical enclosures, medium and high voltage bus ducts and explosion proof hazardous lighting. Avail’s service solutions focus on extension-of-life services for the power generation, refining and industrial infrastructure markets through automated welding solutions and electrical bus services. Avail has approximately 1,300 employees and operates through a global network of 20 strategically located manufacturing and service facilities. For fiscal year 2022, ended February 28, 2022, Avail generated sales of approximately $375 million.

    Nick Santhanam, CEO of Fernweh Group, noted, "We truly appreciate the partnership and support of AZZ’s and Avail’s management team and employees as we have completed the majority acquisition and will commence with the transformation of Avail. We at Fernweh would like to thank the entire team at AZZ and Avail for their tremendous effort in closing this transaction expeditiously. We are also pleased with the continued strong financial performance of the company and will look to build on this base to drive growth for the company in the near and long term.

    As we look to the future of Avail as a standalone company, we would like to thank Gary Hill and Ken Lavelle for their leadership. We share their excitement for the future of the company, and we welcome their continued involvement as Avail’s President & COO, and Vice Chairman, respectively. Additionally, to help drive the next phase of growth at Avail, we are pleased to welcome William (“Bill”) Johnson as President and CEO of Avail. Bill previously served as the CEO of Welbilt. Joining Mr. Johnson as new members of the management team are Martin (“Marty”) Agard, CFO, and Jen Gudenkauf, CHRO, both also previously with Welbilt. We believe behind all great companies are great people. Combined, this experienced team is well equipped to accelerate growth and profitability and make Avail the partner of choice for the industry."

    “The Avail team and I are excited to partner with Fernweh and AZZ as we enter our next phase as a private, standalone company. We welcome Bill, Marty, and Jen to the team, and we look forward to working with them to drive continued growth. To our customers and partners, we, along with Fernweh and AZZ, thank you for your continued support, and we commit to continuing to provide you with the highest quality, cutting-edge products and services delivered by the best people in the industry,” said Gary Hill, President & COO of Avail.

    About Fernweh Group LLC

    Fernweh is an investment firm led by leaders from global institutions with prior experience working with companies in the industrial and industrial technology sectors on strategy, M&A, and operational transformation. Fernweh believes that the mid- and small-cap industrial and industrial technology sectors are the backbone of the economy and the engine for its growth. By combining management capability, operational and strategic transformation support, and capital for each company’s unique context, history, and needs, Fernweh aims to be a builder of businesses and create value for all stakeholders.

    About AZZ Inc.

    AZZ Inc. is a leading provider of galvanizing and a variety of metal coating solutions and coil coating solutions to a broad range of end-markets in North America. AZZ’s Metal Coatings segment is a leading provider of metal finishing solutions for corrosion protection, including hot-dip galvanizing, spin galvanizing, powder coating, anodizing and plating, to the steel fabrication industry. AZZ’s Precoat Metals Segment is a leading provider of aesthetic and corrosion protective coatings to the steel and aluminum coil market.
  • July 29,2022

    Fernweh Group Completes Acquisition of Dabico Airport Solutions
    Fernweh Group LLC and its affiliates (collectively, “Fernweh”) are pleased to announce that Fernweh has completed the acquisition of Dabico Airport Solutions (“Dabico”), the airports business of Switzerland-based Cavotec SA (“Cavotec”). The acquisition represents Fernweh’s investment in the aerospace/aviation industry as a part of its overall strategy to build a global ground support equipment franchise. With its heritage dating back to 1955, Dabico is a leading global player in the airport ground support equipment industry and offers a comprehensive range of products for both the civil and military sectors – from contact gates, remote aprons, hangarage, 400Hz and 28V DC ground power units to pre-conditioned air systems, wet services, fuel systems (combined either with passenger boarding bridges or in-ground pits), and tunnel systems. With extensive experience and technological expertise, Dabico enables airports and customers to maximize safety, availability, efficiency, and environmental sustainability. Based in the United States, Dabico is globally focused and has operations spanning North America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia. Read more...
  • June 23,2022

    Fernweh Signs Agreement to Acquire Majority Stake in AZZ’S Infrastructure Solutions Segment
    FORT WORTH, Texas, June 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- AZZ Inc. ("AZZ" or the "Company") (NYSE: AZZ), and Fernweh Group LLC ("Fernweh"), jointly announced today they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby AZZ will contribute its AZZ Infrastructure Solutions Segment1 ("AIS") to AIS Investment Holdings LLC (the "AIS JV"), and sell a 60% interest in the AIS JV to Fernweh at an implied enterprise value of AIS of $300 million. The valuation represents approximately 8.1x AIS LTM 2/28/2022 adjusted EBITDA2 of roughly $37 million and is expected to result in cash proceeds to AZZ of approximately $228 million, subject to certain customary purchase price adjustments. Under the terms of the transaction, the AIS JV will be governed by a board with three representatives from Fernweh and two representatives from AZZ. Following the close of the transaction, Fernweh will own 60% of the AIS JV and AZZ will own 40%. The transaction is expected to close before the end of 2022, subject to obtaining the requisite governmental approvals and other customary closing conditions and approvals. Read more...
  • June 1, 2022

    Fernweh CEO and McKinsey release new book, The Titanium Economy
    While technology companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook have dominated headlines and stockholder returns for the past decade, there are several lesser-known companies that have performed just as well, such as HEICO, Trex, Casella, and Graco. These companies are leaders in the industrial technology sector, which covers a broad array of products that are essential to the functioning of our economy and, over the next decade, will provide a better future, not just for investors but for the workforce and our broader communities as well.

    In The Titanium Economy, Fernweh CEO, Nick Santhanam, and McKinsey partners, Asutosh Padhi and Gaurav Batra, highlight these leaders of the industrial technology sector, which have developed best-in-class people, processes, and systems to strengthen the backbone of the economic supply chain, which results in high-paying, domestic jobs and soaring stock returns. Read more...
  • May 11, 2022

    Cavotec Airports Becomes Dabico Airports Solutions
    Cavotec Airports will be re-branded to Dabico Airport Solutions, following its upcoming divestment from the Cavotec group. With a renewed focus on growth, innovation, and service, Dabico Airport Solutions is set to expand its existing offering that enables its customers to maximise safety, availability, efficiency, and sustainability.

    Cavotec announced the divestment of its Airport division to Fernweh Group in February. As a leading ground support equipment manufacturer and service provider, Dabico Airport Solutions offers a comprehensive range of state-of-the-art, turn-key systems for contact gates, remote aprons, and maintenance repair and overhaul hangars for commercial and defence applications.

    Dabico now plans to showcase its full range of innovative ground support systems – and premiere three new products – at the upcoming Dubai Airport Show that kicks off on 17 May.
  • April 6, 2022

    Launch of Fernweh Hub
    On April 5, 2022, Fernweh Group unveiled Fernweh Hub, the company’s platform to share perspectives and insights and bring together the community of CXOs, investors, and board members on topics related to industrial and industrial technology sector.

    Fernweh Hub offers Fernweh Insights, our podcasts with prominent leaders and influencers from the sector, and publications (articles and reports) on cutting-edge technologies, investment, and other trends in the industrial/industrial tech sector.Among the initial topics addressed are artificial intelligence, quantum computing, SPACs, and executive compensation.

    Join the industrial and industrial technology leaders and investors already benefiting from Fernweh Hub: register today

    To receive the latest updates on what’s new on the Hub, follow us on Fernweh Group on LinkedIn
  • February 22, 2022

    Fernweh Group Signs Agreement to Acquire Cavotec's Airports Business
    On February 22, 2022, Cavotec SA announced it had signed an agreement with Fernweh Group for Fernweh to acquire 100 percent of its Airports business for an approximate implied enterprise value of €16 million. Cavotec, a clean tech company that designs and delivers electrification solutions to decarbonize facilities, had determined to focus on its high-growth Ports business, and this spin-off was part of its portfolio restructuring. Airports accounted for approximately 25 percent of Cavotec’s revenue in 2020.

    The Airports business engineers state-of-the-art, fully integrated systems and services for ground equipment support at airports. This includes contact gates, remote aprons, and maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) hangars for commercial and military aircraft. The business currently serves airports in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, as well as the US Air Force.

    The acquisition is central to Fernweh’s investment thesis and will form a strategic platform on which to build a major airport ground support equipment franchise. Fernweh is optimistic about the long-term future of aviation in general and looks forward to the opportunity of partnering with Cavotec Airports’ management team to support its return to growth.
  • January 24, 2022

    Fernweh CEO at Photonics West Conference
    Fernweh Group CEO Nick Santhanam spoke about the future of the photonics industry at the SPIE Photonics West meeting on January 24, 2022. In his presentation, titled “Photonics—the next big thing?” Mr. Santhanam addressed the current state of the industry, its next horizon of change, and what companies might do to reposition for success.

    On the current state of the laser and photonics industry, he pointed to a history of high impact and innovation. As innovation continues and new applications are developed, the industry is expected to grow at a robust pace.

    Mr. Santhanam described two waves of innovation, one from 1990 to 2020 and another, the current wave, which began in 2020 in response to the proliferation of data and analytics. Wave 2, he said, is characterized by integrated photonic devices designed for customized applications to meet changing and expanding end-customer needs.

    Photonics West is, according to SPIE, the largest annual photonics event. It was held in San Francisco on January 22–27, 2022. This year’s event included more than 950 exhibitors and 2,100 technical presentations. It was attended by more than 10,000 registrants from the international photonics community, including engineers, scientists, students, and business professionals.