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Aerospace Suppliers Ramping Up To Meet Surging Orders, Says GE Capital

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The aerospace supply industry is still in the early days of a long-term boom in orders, say industry participants at a recent suppliers summit hosted by GE Capital at GE Aviation’s headquarters in Cincinnati, OH. The large majority of participants, who were split about evenly in serving wide-body and narrow-body commercial aircraft platforms said they plan to increase their workforce over the next 12 months (84%), expect to win new long-term supply agreements in the next three years (91%), and expect aircraft deliveries to continue to grow at least through 2016 (76%).

“We are in the midst of a ‘super-cycle’ of aerospace manufacturing,” said Gib Bosworth, managing director of aerospace financing at GE Capital, Corporate Finance. “Advanced manufacturing practices will play a very important role in how these parts and components are made, so we at GE see a valuable role we can play in helping these suppliers stay on top of this manufacturing technology curve as well as have the capital they need to build production capacity.”

“Today, additive manufacturing is only .02 percent of total global manufacturing, so there is a lot of opportunity going forward,” said Greg Morris, leader of additive technologies for GE Aviation. “I think it’s great that the majority of the survey respondents are already incorporating this technology or plan to in the near future and I expect that number will continue to rise.”

When asked about their manufacturing future, 87% said they will be investing in new manufacturing equipment over the next 3 years. Regarding incorporating additive manufacturing, 27 percent are already doing it, 10 percent expect it to happen within the next year and 37 percent expect it in the next one to five years.

M&A activity is expected to be very robust over the next 12-24 months, with 92 percent of respondents said they expect it to increase. “The response makes sense. Record high backlogs for commercial aircraft give buyers an unprecedented level of visibility,” said Yair Reiner, aerospace and government services analyst with GE Antares Capital, a leading provider of M&A financing to private equity-backed middle market companies. “Plane makers want suppliers to become both stronger and leaner, which encourages and rewards consolidation. And defense spending, a significant thorn for the industry in recent years, is showing signs of stabilizing.”

GE Capital’s survey was conducted on October 28, 2014 at the company’s Commercial Aerospace Leadership Forum, held at the GE Aviation Learning Center in Cincinnati, OH. The 80 respondents were suppliers and manufacturers to the aerospace industry, and private equity professionals active in the aerospace industry.

GE Capital, Corporate Finance has provided aerospace suppliers and parts manufacturers with working capital and equipment loans for 25 years. GE Antares Capital formed a dedicated aerospace industry vertical in 2014 to better serve private equity clients who are actively involved in the industry.

About GE Capital, Corporate Finance

GE Capital, Corporate Finance provides asset-based, cash flow and structured loans and leases to mid-size and large U.S. businesses expanding in North America, Asia and Europe. Financing supports working capital, growth, acquisitions, turnarounds and balance sheet optimization in key sectors: aerospace; automotive and transportation; chemicals and plastics; construction and building products, corporate aircraft; oil and gas; food and beverage; manufacturing; marine; metals and mining; paper, packaging and forest products; retail; and technology and electronics. With Access GE, clients also benefit from access to GE’s best practices to help build their business. Visit geccf.com/newsroom or follow @GELendLease on Twitter.

About GE Antares Capital

GE Antares is a unit of GE Capital. With offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco, GE Antares is a leading middle market lender, offering a “one-stop” source for GE’s lending and other services offered to middle market private equity sponsors. GE Antares was recognized by Private Debt Investor and Private Equity International as 2013 Lender of the Year, North America and Mid-Cap Lender of the Year, North America, respectively. For more information, visit geantares.com.

GE Capital offers businesses around the globe an array of financial products and services. For more information, visit gecapital.com or follow company news via Twitter (@GECapital). GE (NYSE:GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. For more information, visit ge.com.

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