Learn more about what Acorn and its portfolio companies are doing to create value for customers and investors.
Nathan Rock Appointed as Director of Sales at Raisbeck Engineering
May 15, 2023 9am
SEATTLE, May 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Raisbeck Engineering is pleased to announce the appointment of Nathan Rock as the new Director of Sales. In his new role, Nathan will initially focus on sales of Raisbeck's EPIC Caravan drag reduction system, overseeing the company's sales strategy, managing customer relationships, and driving revenue growth.
Nathan brings to Raisbeck Engineering over 20 years of experience in a combination of aviation maintenance and sales, having previously worked for leading aerospace and defense companies. Before joining Raisbeck Engineering, Nathan was the Sr Operations Manager of the 737 Program at Spirit AeroSystems, where he led a team responsible for generating over $100 million in annual revenue.
"Nathan's impressive track record in sales and his deep understanding of the aerospace industry make him the ideal candidate to lead our Caravan sales," said Hal Chrisman, President of Raisbeck Engineering. "Importantly, Nathan has significant experience with both the Caravan and King Air from his time at Textron, one of our...more
Berry Aviation Awarded Aero-Medical Evacuation Contract Supporting U.S. Marine Rotational Forces-Darwin
May 11, 2023 11:30am
SAN MARCOS, Texas, May 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- (Berry Aviation, Inc.) (BAI). BAI in partnership with CareFlight, Australia, has been awarded a US Government contract by USTRANSCOM to provide fixed-wing (FW) and rotary-wing (RW) aircraft, aircrew, personnel, ancillary services, and equipment to perform Aero-medical Evacuation services in support of Marine Rotational Forces (MRF) training exercises throughout Australia. With more than 35 years of DOD experience, BAI continues to demonstrate its ability to oversee and manage complex contracts to help accomplish the US military mission. BAI's subcontract partner, CareFlight, has more than 36 years' experience providing rotary-wing aero-medical retrieval services, and is an Australian aero-medical charity with a mission to save lives, speed recovery and serve the community. Team BAI Program Managers, Pilots, Operations, Staff and...more
Boris Wolstenholme Appointed CEO of Sentry Aerospares’ European Division
April 17, 2023
Watford, UK and Morganville, New Jersey, 17 April 2023 – Sentry Aerospares Limited (“SAS” or the “Company”), a portfolio company of Acorn Growth Companies (“Acorn”), announces the appointment of Boris Wolstenholme as CEO of its European division. In his capacity as European CEO, Mr. Wolstenholme will oversee all commercial and administrative functions of SAS’ European operation, as well as help to guide and implement the Company’s strategic growth plan. Mr. Wolstenholme brings with him tremendous industry experience having served as Chief Executive Officer of AJW Aviation, and most recently as Managing Director of Gama Aviation’s Business Aviation group. In his time at AJW, Boris was instrumental in growing revenue to approximately $500 million, as well as diversifying AJW’s lines of business and customer base.
SAS’ current CEO and founder of Aerospares 2000, Adam Nemenyi, will continue in his role as Group CEO while also taking on a broader role within Acorn as it continues to deploy capital from its recently raised fifth investment fund.
FAA Grants Raisbeck Engineering Supplemental Type Certificate Approval for Five Blade Swept Propellers for heavyweight King Air 300 Series Aircraft
April 4, 2023 10am
Seattle, WA - Raisbeck Engineering, an Acorn Growth Company, and a leading provider of innovative aircraft modifications, has announced the issuance of Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) Number SA02559SE by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This new certification approves the installation of Raisbeck/Hartzell five blade swept turbofan propellers on heavyweight (16,500 lb) King Air 300, 350, 360 series aircraft.
The Raisbeck/Hartzell five blade swept turbofan propellers offer a significant enhancement to aircraft performance, including increased thrust and cruise speeds, decreased noise levels, and improved landing deceleration and accelerate stop. With carbon fiber composite construction and nickel cobalt leading edges, these Raisbeck/Hartzell propellers provide unlimited blade life while weighing 54 lbs less than the OEM propeller.
"We are thrilled to have received STC approval from the FAA for our revolutionary propeller design," said Hal Chrisman, President of Raisbeck Engineering. "Our team has worked tirelessly to extend the benefits...more
Acorn Growth Companies Completes Exit of Black Sage Technologies
February 14, 2023 11am
OKLAHOMA CITY, Feb. 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Acorn Growth Companies ("Acorn"), a private equity firm exclusively investing in aerospace, defense, intelligence, and space, today announced the sale of Black Sage Technologies, a leading provider of counter-unmanned aerial systems (C-UAS) and technologies, to Highlander Partners.
Black Sage Technologies has established itself as a leader in the C-UAS market, providing cutting-edge solutions to defend against unmanned aerial system threats in both military and commercial environments. The company has experienced significant growth and success during Acorn's investment period, and the sale to Highlander Partners represents a strategic opportunity for continued growth and expansion.
Notably, Acorn's investment in Black Sage allowed the company to expand its presence within the U.S. defense sector. This was achieved through strategic capital investments and the establishment of key relationships within the industry. Additionally, Acorn led key management and operational improvements, designed to unleash the...more
Raisbeck Engineering announces the appointment of Lisa Wood as the Director of Marketing
February 23, 2023 11:44am
SEATTLE, Feb. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Raisbeck Engineering, an Acorn Growth Company and leading provider of performance enhancement systems for business, commercial and military aircraft, announces the appointment of Lisa Wood as the Director of Marketing. In this role, Ms. Wood will evolve the brand strategy, expanding Raisbeck's reach beyond the markets served today, creating more robust customer contact mechanisms while managing all aspects of marketing communications.
Ms. Wood brings over 20 years of brand-building experience spanning across multiple industries including specialty automotive and marine industries. Her vast expertise in brand architecture and integrated marketing, both in commercial and defense markets, will expand awareness of Raisbeck's corporate brand into new markets as well as strengthen current customer relationships.
"I'm extremely excited to be joining the talented Raisbeck team," says Wood, "Working with best-in-class industry professionals who are experts at improving OEM aircraft that operate at maximum efficiency and...more
Berry Aviation awarded contract to deliver ISR support for Marine Corps Special Operator training
January 17, 2023 10am
SAN MARCOS, Texas, Jan. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- (Berry Aviation, Inc.) Berry Aviation, Inc. has been awarded a contract to provide Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (A-ISR) in support of Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC) air-to-ground integration training. Berry Aviation's specially modified Cessna 206 will provide turnkey services that includes the platform, combat-experienced aircrew, and a remote portable Ground Control Station (GCS). The A-ISR system will be utilized to support realistic, scenario-based training for Special Operations teams to achieve critical skill proficiencies prior to worldwide deployments. "The aircraft is mod-payload compliant, and purpose built to serve both as a crewed platform as well as a surrogate UAS that operates within the National Airspace confines," said Stan Green, MARSOC combat veteran and Director of Special Operations...more
Berry Aviation, Inc. New Hire Announcement – Vice President of Unmanned Aerial Systems Division
January 12, 2023 10am
SAN MARCOS, Texas -- Berry Aviation, Inc. is pleased to announce the expansion of their executive leadership team by welcoming Tom Ballenger as Vice President of its Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) group. Tom is responsible for the oversight, management, and execution of Berry Aviation’s UAS contracts, delivering warfighter capability and customer support excellence. Additionally, Tom will spearhead capability development in UAS, emerging threat replication and unmanned ISR & cargo services for Berry clients.
Stan Finch, President of Berry Aviation said, “We’re very fortunate to bring Tom onboard and look forward to benefiting from his business, senior program management, and defense aviation expertise. As Berry continues to expand into new and exciting areas of aviation like UAS and EVTOL we are certain that Tom’s values and management philosophy will be a huge advantage to the company and our clients.”
During an extraordinary 24+ year career in the United States Army as an enlisted Infantryman and Aviation officer, Tom held roles...more
US Air Force Awards Black Sage Technologies $900M Contract for Technology Development
January 3, 2023
BOISE, ID, USA, January 3, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Black Sage Technologies, a leading provider of layered counter unmanned aircraft system (CUAS) solutions, was awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract for the development of innovative approaches that bring multi-domain systems capabilities, the characterization of new technologies and systems through studies, recurrent demonstration, and rapid development to enable rapid prototyping, test, and capability transition. The contract has a value of up to $900,000,000 over a five-year period with options to extend up to ten years.
The award was based on Black Sage’s past performance, which has rapidly developed and demonstrated layered, multi-sensor solutions in detecting, identifying, tracking, deterring, and defeating drones with its DefenseOS command and control software. DefenseOS enables tailored CUAS solutions for any environment and is interoperable with the Army’s Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control...more
Air Force Awards Research Contract to Black Sage Technologies to Investigate Lidar for Counter-Drone Applications
December 14, 2022
BOISE, ID, UNITED STATES, December 14, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Black Sage Technologies announced the award of a $4.5M contract by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to investigate novel lidar sensing solutions that improve drone detection and discrimination. Black Sage, a leading provider of counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS), and Spectral Sensor Solutions (S3), a leading provider of lidar-based threat sensing capabilities, are teamed to conduct the research program named: Lidar Unmanned Aerial System Detection and Discrimination (LUASDD).
“Our approach to C-UAS has always been a layered approach that fuses data from multiple sensors such as radar, electro-optical (EO) / infrared (IR) cameras, and passive RF sensors,” said Tim Morris, Black Sage Program Manager for LUASDD.
“Lidar brings another layer of sensor data that can potentially address threat detection scenarios and environmental conditions that present challenges to radar or EO/IR...more
Berry Aviation awarded American Legion Large Employer of Veterans Award
October 11, 2022 9am
SAN MARCOS, Texas, /PRNewswire/ -- The American Legion hosted its 103rd Annual National Convention in Milwaukee, WI. The National Commander of the American Legion, Paul E. Dillard and the Veterans Employment & Education Commission Chairman James LaCoursiere recently recognized Berry Aviation Inc. as the 2021 National level Employer of Veterans Award, Category I (large business with more than 200 employees). The award was established in 1969 and consistently highlights those companies that exceed hiring goals and criteria to identify, recruit, assess, hire, and retain veterans for employment. American Legion Posts from around the country submit eligible companies and packages are reviewed and selected by the commission on behalf of the national chapter. Being nominated and winning this award is considered an exceptional honor by countless firms who assess and hire our nation's veterans for employment. Past recipients in...more
Five-Year GSA Contract Expands Raisbeck’s Footprint into Government Arena
October 6, 2022 10am
SEATTLE, WA--Raisbeck Engineering, a leading provider of performance enhancement systems for business, commercial and military aircraft, today announced that it has been awarded a General Service Administration Multiple Award Schedule contract (MAS). The contract, which took effect September 30, 2022, is valid for five years with three five-year option periods.
The GSA Schedule is significant in that it makes the company’s products accessible through a simplified buying process to state and federal government agencies, expanding the company’s footprint in the federal government marketplace. To qualify for GSA approval, the company went through a rigorous 18- month application process. Contractors selling through the GSA contract are carefully vetted beforehand and must have a proven track record within its industry. The GSA Multiple Award Schedule also provides a competitive advantage in the government sector since terms and conditions including pricing and warranties are previously agreed upon.
“We are very excited to receive a GSA Contract Award,”...more
Aerospares 2000 and Sentry Aerospace announce rebranding following merger
October 5, 2022 7am
OKLAHOMA CITY; WATFORD, UK; MORGANVILLE, NJ — Aerospares 2000 Limited and Sentry Aerospace, following their transformational merger in July 2022, today unveiled a new brand name and logo. The combined company, a portfolio company of Acorn Growth Companies (AGC), will be known as Sentry Aerospares, a tribute to the well-established and respected brand names that were brought together in the merger.
Sentry Aerospares is a leading independent stocking distributor of high-value, hard-to-find commercial aircraft rotable components with global reach and some of the broadest and deepest customer and vendor relationships in the industry. The combined company maintains a significant inventory of factory new and used serviceable material across its global locations to serve its customers’ most urgent needs, particularly aircraft on ground (AOG) requirements. Further, the company has tremendous financial flexibility and access to capital to support its customers' aircraft material needs as the global aviation market continues its strong...more
Berry Aviation awarded R&D contract to develop next generation UAS platform for America's Special Operators
August 30, 2022
STILLWATER, Okla., Aug. 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), Science and Technology Directorate recently awarded Berry Aviation, Inc. a $1.45M contract to design and develop a new Group 1 Unmanned Autonomous System (UAS) for Special Operations Forces (SOF). The design employs a variety of advanced technologies that deliver solutions uniquely suited to SOF members operating in contested environments. Dr. Rick Gaeta, Vice President, and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Berry Aviation's UAS Division stated the company is, "excited to undertake such a meaningful task to develop a highly capable and resilient UAS platform for our SOF warfighters." The new contract award adds to the significant growth experienced by Berry Aviation's UAS division which operates from Stillwater, Oklahoma and employs 21 personnel across the state.
Berry Aviation, Inc.,...more
TSS Solutions Announces Corporate Office Relocation and Expansion
August 26, 2022
MELBOURNE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- TSS Solutions announced today the relocation and expansion of its corporate headquarters in West Melbourne, FL.
The relocation and expansion house the Depot, Government, Radar, and SATCOM business units, Corporate Leadership Team, and Corporate Services.
"Expanding to a 55,000-square-foot office and engineer/production space is a substantial upgrade from the Company's prior facilities. This new facility has been specifically designed for our operations utilizing the latest LEAN concepts, and it will provide the necessary infrastructure allowing TSS to serve our ever-expanding global defense customer base more quickly and efficiently and to advance the overall operations and growth of the company," said Don DiFrisco, President & CEO.
TSS Solutions is a defense electronics engineering and manufacturing-focused company, continually innovating technology advancements and improvements to radar and SATCOM systems originally developed by some of the...more
Black Sage Technologies selected to provide counter-unmanned aircraft systems for a major international airport
August 22, 2022 1pm
BOISE, IDAHO, USA, August 22, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Black Sage Technologies has won a contract to provide counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS) and services at an undisclosed international airport. The multi-million, multi-year contract will support safe air travel at one of the busiest airports in the world by providing a full spectrum of C-UAS capabilities. Built on Black Sage’s DefenseOS, the system integrates a multi-layered suite of capabilities to detect, identify, classify, track, and defeat unauthorized drones that threaten safe air operations.
“Our open systems architecture enables us to provide a wide variety of capability that is scaled to meet the unique security needs of each airport,” offered Al white, CEO of Black Sage. “The approach enables us to rapidly respond to emerging threats by integrating new capabilities from our valued partners.”
The company boasts a library of over fifty interoperable C-UAS subsystems that have been integrated and...more
Acorn Growth Companies’ Portfolio Company Aerospares 2000 announces its merger with Sentry Aerospace
July 11, 2022
OKLAHOMA CITY; WATFORD, UK; MORGANVILLE, NJ — Aerospares 2000 Limited (Aerospares), an Acorn Growth Company, today announced the recent completion of its merger with Sentry Aerospace Corporation (Sentry). The combination of Aerospares and Sentry creates a leading independent stocking distributor of high value, hard-to-find commercial aircraft rotable components with global reach and some of the broadest and deepest customer and vendor relationships in the industry. The combined company maintains a significant inventory of factory new and used serviceable material across its global locations to serve its customers most urgent needs, particularly aircraft on ground (AOG) requirements. Further, the company has tremendous financial flexibility and access to capital to support its customers’ aircraft material needs as the global aviation market continues its strong recovery.
Headquartered in Morganville, New Jersey, within close proximity to metro New York and Philadelphia airports, Sentry is a leading global stockist of commercial aircraft spare parts covering...more
Raisbeck Receives FAA STC Approval for New “EPIC Caravan” Drag Reduction System
April 6, 2022
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Raisbeck Engineering, a leading provider of performance enhancement systems for business, commercial and military aircraft, today announced it has received Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approval for its new drag reduction system, EPIC Caravan, for the Cessna Caravan 208B aircraft. This STC enables Caravan 208B fleet and owner-operators who are flying cargo pod-equipped aircraft to reduce drag and consequently increase cruise speeds and/or decrease fuel burn.
EPIC Caravan was designed to address the aerodynamic drag associated with Cessna Caravan 208Bs equipped with factory cargo pods. The 208B experiences a significant decrease in speed and an increase in fuel burn due to the cargo pod. Raisbeck’s new drag reduction system is comprised of a composite Forward Cargo Pod Fairing and metal Dual Aft Body Strakes and weighs only 38 lbs. The system offers operators the option to fly 5+ knots faster or go farther on the same fuel load. In addition to the drag reduction, the Dual Aft Body...more
ACORN ANNOUNCES M&A GROUP LEADERSHIP TRANSITION
June 30, 2021
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Acorn Growth Companies (“Acorn”), a private equity firm investing exclusively in aerospace, defense, intelligence, and space today announced that, in connection with the retirement of Bob Hinaman, Greg Agnew will assume leadership of the firm’s mergers and acquisitions (M&A) group and Washington, DC office. Bob Hinaman, who established the firm’s Washington, DC presence, will continue to serve as an advisor to Acorn through September 2021 to facilitate the transition.
Rick Nagel, Acorn’s Managing Partner, commented “Bob’s contributions to Acorn since he joined the firm in 2007 are innumerable. We cannot express our gratitude and appreciation enough for the leadership and partnership that Bob has provided to Acorn over the last 14 years. We wish Bob all the best in his retirement.”
Greg Agnew joined Acorn in 2018 after spending two decades in various investment banking, advisory, and equity research roles, most recent having established the Washington, DC office and U.S. Aerospace & Defense investment banking practice for Canaccord Genuity....more
Oklahoma Defense Industry Association Unveiled
May 24, 2021
Acorn Growth Companies is proud to be a founding member.
The Oklahoma Defense Industry Association (ODIA) announced its launch last week.
It aims to be the state voice for the defense industry, military installations and national security interests in Oklahoma and Washington, D.C.
“We are thrilled to bring ODIA to Oklahoma,” ODIA Chairman Robert Cox said in a statement. “With our rapidly growing defense community, the need for organization and advocacy has become more apparent than ever. Through the leadership of ODIA, we have the potential to tell the story of Oklahoma’s long-standing history in the defense arena and set up the state for major growth.”
The association’s three pillars are advocating for policies at the state and federal levels; promoting applied research partnerships by fostering collaboration between Oklahoma’s research institutions and military contractors and enhancing supply chain and networking by connecting members and coordinating crucial resources.
“At ODIA, we believe Oklahoma’s defense industry...more
NASA Administrator joins Acorn Growth Companies
January 25, 2021
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Acorn Growth Companies (“Acorn”), a private equity firm investing exclusively in aerospace, defense and intelligence, today announced that Jim Bridenstine, former Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), has joined the company as a dedicated full-time Senior Advisor.
“Jim’s wealth of knowledge in the space, military, aerospace and engineering sectors will be invaluable to Acorn and its portfolio companies as we continue our mission to invest in operating companies that strive to enhance global mobility, protect national interests and develop next-generation intelligence capability,” said Rick Nagel, Managing Partner of Acorn. “He will play a key role in our efforts to deploy capital from our newest investment vehicle, Acorn Aerospace & Defense Fund V.”
“Administrator Bridenstine will be returning to Tulsa, Oklahoma, as we expand our footprint in one of the top seven aerospace regional super-clusters in the world,” Nagel said.
Bridenstine resigned his position as the 13th Administrator of the National...more
ACORN PARTNERS WITH FOLDS OF HONOR TO RAISE FUNDS FOR VETERAN FAMILIES
October 21, 2020 8am
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - Acorn Growth Companies, a middle-market private equity firm focused on aerospace, defense, and intelligence, has announced its partnership with Tulsa, OK based Folds of Honor. Folds of Honor serves a singular yet critical mission - to provide educational scholarships to the children and spouses of fallen and disabled service members. In 2020, Folds of Honor awarded more than 3,500 scholarships nationwide, of which 196 were awarded locally in Oklahoma. Among the scholarships provided, 41 percent were given to minority students. oklahomacity.foldsofhonor.org
Rick Nagel, Managing Partner of Acorn Growth Companies stated, “Programs that support our veterans and their families while providing educational assistance are needed now more than ever. The families of our veterans have enough stress in a normal year, and during COVID, depression among service men and women are at historic levels. Suicides are up as much as 30%. I could not be more proud to announce this partnership and look forward to...more
ACORN GROWTH COMPANIES SELECTED FOR DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE TRUSTED CAPITAL MARKETPLACE PROGRAM
September 29, 2020 8am
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Acorn Growth Companies (“Acorn”), a private equity firm investing exclusively in aerospace, defense and intelligence (‘‘AD&I‘‘), announced today its selection by the Department of Defense (“DoD”) to participate in the Trusted Capital Marketplace (“TCM”) program as a source of pre-qualified funding for the country’s most critical AD&I suppliers.
The TCM program is a DoD Office of Industrial Policy initiative to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base by leveraging the financial resources and acumen of trusted sources of U.S. private capital. The program unites two key stakeholder groups for mutual benefit: suppliers of products and services critical to national security priorities and DoD-vetted capital providers who possess security clearances, sector investment expertise, and operational scale. The resulting partnership enhances the innovation and capabilities available to support national security priorities, while concurrently protecting suppliers from adversarial capital.
“We are extremely proud and honored to be chosen to serve as...more
Acorn Growth Companies Invests In Aerospares 2000
December 10, 2019 8am
OKLAHOMA CITY--Acorn Growth Companies (“AGC”), a private equity firm investing exclusively in aerospace, defense and intelligence, announced today the acquisition of a majority interest in Aerospares 2000 Ltd. (“Aerospares” or the Company), a full-service aftermarket supplier and distributor of rotable parts for commercial aircraft. Aerospares specializes in identifying, procuring, and stocking the most demanded and hard-to-find rotables, with a focus on minimum equipment list parts that are ready to ship 24/7 from the Company’s facility in greater London. As a result, approximately 90% of Aerospares’ sales are in support of aircraft on ground (“AOG”) situations.
“Aerospares is a leader in the aerospace aftermarket with a highly differentiated focus on supporting its customers’ AOG needs with highly-demanded, yet hard-to-find material. This is demonstrated by its blue chip customer base and unparalleled reputation for superior customer service, quality, and on-time delivery,” said Rick Nagel, managing partner of Acorn Growth Companies. “Aerospares is a strategic investment...more
The Drone Strike Threat is Real | The US and Allied Nations Need to Immediately Address This Persistent, Growing Threat
September 14, 2019 3:30pm
OKLAHOMA CITY--In light of the drone attack on precious oil resources in Saudi Arabia, Black Sage Technologies (Black Sage), the market leader in the development, integration and deployment of counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS) solutions, offers their support and expertise to governments and commercial entities looking to protect critical infrastructure, human life and economic vitality.
“Our hearts and thoughts are with Saudi Arabia, ARAMCO and its employees today,” said Rick Schmidt, President of Black Sage. “This latest drone strike is just one example of how persistent the drone threat is as we see it impact the global economy and all consumers of oil and gas. We need to take action today in the US to ensure a similar strike does not impact our national interests.”
“This latest strike in Saudi Arabia is yet another example of this persistent threat to critical infrastructure and ultimately the security and safety of all,” said Dave Romero, co-founder of Black Sage. “The United States and its allies need to immediately address this threat. The reality is...more
Acorn Growth Companies Names New President of Black Sage Technologies
September 4, 2019 10:30am
OKLAHOMA CITY--Acorn Growth Companies, a private equity firm investing exclusively in aerospace, defense and intelligence, has appointed Rick Schmidt as the new president of its Counter Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) portfolio business, Black Sage Technologies (Black Sage) headquartered in Boise, Idaho.
“Rick is the right leader at the right time to lead Black Sage during its next phase of growth as we ramp up integration and production efforts,” said Rick Nagel, managing partner of Acorn Growth Companies. “As a leader in Counter-UAS solutions, Black Sage faces a highly competitive, yet fragmented marketplace that needs an experienced aerospace and defense leader. Rick’s military service coupled with his track record of driving and delivering results will immediately improve on Black Sage’s already strong competitive position in the C-UAS market, which is poised for significant growth.”
Schmidt is an experienced senior executive with 38 years in the aerospace and defense industry. Most recently he served as senior vice president and general manager of Vertex...more
Acorn Growth Companies Celebrates New OKC Headquarters
August 28, 2019 7am
OKLAHOMA CITY--Acorn Growth Companies, a private equity firm investing exclusively in aerospace, defense and intelligence, recently celebrated the opening of its new Oklahoma City World Headquarters with a ribbon cutting and open house. The new office space is significant to both the company as well as Oklahoma City and the nation as it is also the home of the Terrorism Memorial Flag, a 63-foot long flag that contains the names of nearly 4,000 U.S. citizens who were victims of terrorism since 1970.
Originally housed in the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT), Acorn Growth Companies is now the steward of this important American artifact. Acorn is currently exploring ways to allow for public viewing of the flag.
“I could not think of a better time to open our new headquarters as the nation celebrates National Aviation Month and Anti-Terrorism Month. We have built our company by investing in organizations that aim to enhance global mobility and protect national interests, including aerospace, defense and intelligence companies,” said Rick Nagel,...more
Acorn Growth Companies Acquires Robbins-Gioia
August 5, 2019 8:30am
OKLAHOMA CITY--Acorn Growth Companies, a private equity firm investing exclusively in aerospace, defense and intelligence, announced today the investment and controlling interest in Robbins-Gioia, a market leader in providing unique systems modernization and enterprise solutions focused on enhancing capabilities and improving performance and readiness for the federal government and industry.
“Our investment in Robbins-Gioia represents our ongoing commitment in supporting the nation’s requirements to modernize, streamline and secure its information technology architecture,” said Rick Nagel, managing partner of Acorn Growth Companies. “Robbins-Gioia’s expertise in complex, enterprise-wide systems modernization, as well as the deeply embedded nature of its proprietary software products in critical military MRO systems have positioned the company for strong future growth. As the federal government continues to focus on systems modernization and warfighter readiness, we expect Robbins-Gioia will continue to deliver thought leadership and innovative solutions in support of these...more
Acorn Growth Companies Acquires Black Sage Technologies
July 11, 2019 12pm
OKLAHOMA CITY--Acorn Growth Companies, a private equity firm investing exclusively in aerospace, defense and intelligence, announced today the acquisition of Black Sage Technologies (Black Sage), the market leader in the development, integration and deployment of counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS) solutions, headquartered in Boise, Idaho.
As a leading developer of C-UAS solutions, Black Sage identifies, classifies, tracks and defeats UAS threats for military, government, law enforcement, and civil applications. Black Sage employs a hardware-agnostic approach to integrating best-of-breed sensors with its proprietary artificial intelligence-enabled target tracking and defense automation systems to provide adaptable, end-to-end C-UAS systems.
“The acquisition of Black Sage strengthens our already robust defense portfolio of businesses focused on protecting the interests of the United States and its allies,” said Rick Nagel, managing partner of Acorn Growth Companies. “Black Sage is truly ahead of its competition in this highly fragmented space, already delivering...more
Acorn Growth Companies Names New Partner
June 26, 2019
OKLAHOMA CITY--Acorn Growth Companies, a private equity firm investing exclusively in aerospace, defense and intelligence, recently announced Laura Siegal as its newest partner serving as executive vice president (EVP), finance. In this role, Siegal, a CPA, is responsible for providing accounting, financial and business leadership to the enterprise, including the acquisition of and financial planning for Acorn and its portfolio companies seeking to improve the financial performance of each company under management.
“Acorn has enjoyed tremendous growth over the past two years. We have reached a point with this growth where we need an additional finance executive to manage our rapidly expanding portfolio of businesses,” said Jeff Morton, senior partner and CFO of Acorn Growth Companies. “Laura is an incredible fit for Acorn with her proven leadership, business and financial expertise in aerospace and defense – globally.”
Prior to joining Acorn, Siegal served as CFO for NEO Tech, a leading provider of electronic solutions to original equipment manufacturers in the...more
Acorn Growth Companies Names New Partner
May 21, 2019 9am
OKLAHOMA CITY--Acorn Growth Companies, a private equity firm investing exclusively in aerospace, defense and intelligence, announced Gregory Bloom as its newest partner serving as Chief Operating Officer. Bloom is responsible for the profitable growth of Acorn’s operating companies – serving as a member of select boards and actively involved in due diligence, integration, optimization and growth of Acorn’s companies.
Bloom has spent the majority of his 28-year career dedicated to the aerospace and defense industry leading the growth agenda for several successful companies. He also serves as an advocate for the industry through the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and other influential industry associations.
Prior to Acorn, Bloom served as the president of Seal Science, Inc., an aerospace and defense contractor in Southern California since 2001. He also served as the president and CEO of MSM Industries, Inc., in Corona, California, as an operating general manager and financial executive at KB Home and was the founder and CEO of SAFC, a boutique investment...more
Acorn Growth Companies acquires DIMO
May 14, 2019 10am
OKLAHOMA CITY--Acorn Growth Companies, a private equity firm investing exclusively in aerospace, defense and intelligence, announced today the acquisition of DIMO Corporation (DIMO), headquartered in New Castle, Delaware.
Founded in 1994, DIMO has established itself as a leading value-added distributor of operationally critical parts and higher-level assemblies for power, electromechanical, life support and mission-specific aircraft systems.
“With its reputation in the Aerospace & Defense industry as a trusted advisor to leading OEMs of flight critical parts and government customers, DIMO has positioned itself in the U.S., Middle East, Europe, Latin America, and Asia, and as a critical enabler of maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade (MRO&U) program execution,” said Rick Nagel, managing partner of Acorn Growth Companies. “DIMO’s global operating infrastructure and key relationships with foreign government aerospace and defense procurement organizations will be a tremendous strategic asset to the Acorn portfolio.”
Sohrab Naghshineh, DIMO’s...more
Acorn Growth Companies Names New President of Telecommunications Support Services Inc.
January 15, 2019 11am
OKLAHOMA CITY--Acorn Growth Companies, a private equity firm investing exclusively in aerospace, defense and intelligence, has appointed Donald DiFrisco as the new president of its portfolio business, Telecommunications Support Services Inc. (TSS) headquartered in Melbourne, Florida.
“Don brings to TSS a multi-faceted leadership background having served as a CEO, COO and CFO within the defense electronics and high-tech industries,” said Rick Nagel, managing partner of Acorn Growth Companies. “We are already seeing the positive impact his leadership and continuous improvement mindset is having on TSS.”
DiFrisco is a chief executive with demonstrated expertise in operations and finance within the defense electronics and high-tech industries. He has served as the CEO, COO and CFO of several high-growth companies, including International Surveillance Technology and Cross Match Technologies, among others. He has a track record of success in leading teams through rapid change by incorporating Lean Six Sigma methods at all levels.
He earned MBA degrees in global...more
Acorn Growth Companies Names New Partner - Greg Agnew to Join Mergers and Acquisitions Team
November 19, 2018 3:30pm
OKLAHOMA CITY--Acorn Growth Companies, a private equity firm investing exclusively in aerospace, defense and intelligence, announced Greg Agnew as its newest partner, enhancing the firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions team. Agnew will focus on investment opportunity identification, acquisition operational due diligence, transaction & development and execution, portfolio company strategic development and exits.
Agnew has spent his 20-year career in the financial services industry in both investment banking and advisory and equity & research roles, the vast majority of which have been focused on the aerospace, defense and government contracting markets. Prior to joining Acorn, he established the U.S. Aerospace, Defense and Government Contracting investment banking group for Canaccord Genuity, and working closely with the firm’s international offices, led its efforts in the sector globally. Prior to Canaccord, Agnew spent 10 years at FBR Capital Markets, eventually leading the firm’s ADG investment banking practice and completing both merger and acquisition and financing...more
Acorn Growth Companies hires new strategy and analysis executive
October 29, 2018 1:30pm
OKLAHOMA CITY--Acorn Growth Companies, a private equity firm investing exclusively in aerospace and defense, announced Hal Chrisman will join the firm on Nov. 1. Chrisman will focus on the entire acquisition process from identification through integration and governance, as well as work with the current portfolio companies to develop and execute growth strategies, driving organic and inorganic growth globally.
“Hal brings 30 plus years of experience to Acorn in aerospace and defense with strong expertise in diligence, deep market analysis and strategic planning,” said Rick Nagel, managing partner of Acorn Growth Companies. “Hal is a strategic thinker and as we continue to grow our portfolio of businesses, he will be a catalyst for planning and executing our growth agenda.”
Chrisman brings three decades of aerospace and defense experience with expertise in mergers and acquisitions, marketing and business development, business-to-business e-commerce, consultative and solutions sales, business plan development and international business. Chrisman most recently served as...more
Acorn Growth Companies Names President of Raisbeck Engineering Inc.
October 16, 2018 9am
SEATTLE--Acorn Growth Companies, a private equity firm investing exclusively in Aerospace, Defense and Intelligence, announced Lynn Thomas as the new president of its portfolio business, Raisbeck Engineering Inc. headquartered in Seattle, Washington.
“Since Lynn joined Raisbeck Engineering in the spring of last year as our VP of sales and marketing, he has transformed our sales organization achieving consistent growth,” said Rick Nagel, managing partner of Acorn Growth Companies. “I am delighted to promote Lynn to the role of president. As a pilot, his passion for the business and 35 years of business experience will have a continued, positive impact on the growth and profitability of Raisbeck Engineering.”
Thomas is an experienced executive with an extensive background in all disciplines of business management, including strategies for increased growth and profitability, market positioning and effective financial planning.
Most recently he served as the vice president of sales and marketing at Raisbeck. Throughout his career he...more
Acorn Growth Companies acquires Berry Aviation, Inc.
July 16, 2018 9:30am
OKLAHOMA CITY--Acorn Growth Companies, a private equity firm investing exclusively in aerospace, defense and intelligence, announced today the acquisition of Berry Aviation, Inc. (Berry Aviation), headquartered in San Marcos, Texas. The acquisition marks Acorn’s larges acquisition to date and fourth overall investment in its fourth investment fund. Stanley Finch has been promoted to CEO and president and will lead the company.
“Berry Aviation has a proven track record and developed excellent past performance supporting the U.S. government and its allies, while also offering scheduled and on-demand freight and fixedbase operator (FBO) services to businesses and individual operators,” said Rick Nagel, managing partner of Acorn Growth Companies. “Berry Aviation is a great Acorn fit, having built a track record and experienced tremendous success in this market segment, which was marked by a great win for our investors with the sale of our Integrated Defense group in 2017. With the growing demand by the military for contractors to support operations and logistics abroad, Berry...more
Acorn Growth Companies Opens London Office; Names Henry Gregson as Partner to Lead New European Presence
July 11, 2018 10am
OKLAHOMA CITY--Acorn Growth Companies, a private equity firm investing exclusively in aerospace, defense and intelligence, announced today the opening of its London office. The new location will support the expansion of business in Europe. Henry Gregson has been named a partner of the firm and will lead the new location. In his role, Gregson will focus on identifying and managing direct investment opportunities and transactions in the European market.
“We are very pleased Henry has joined our expanding firm as a partner to lead our efforts in the highly attractive European market,” said Rick Nagel, Managing Partner of Acorn Growth Companies. “Henry brings tremendous experience in private equity, delivering outstanding results for investors. As an investor in our London-based business Aerospheres we have had the opportunity to work with Henry over the past three years and look forward to his role in growing our portfolio of aerospace, defense and intelligence-focused companies in Europe.”
Gregson has spent 29 years in private equity during which he has made 25...more
Acorn Growth Companies Appoints Randy Martinez to Its Advisory Board
July 10, 2018 3:30pm
OKLAHOMA CITY--Acorn Growth Companies, a private equity firm investing exclusively in aerospace, defense and intelligence, appointed Randy Martinez to its Advisory Board. As an advisor, he will provide strategic and tactical insights on investment strategy, emergent acquisition opportunities, and provide context to market forces potentially impacting Acorn’s portfolio companies and overall strategy.
“We are delighted Randy Martinez has agreed to join Acorn’s Advisory Board,” said Rick Nagel, Managing Partner of Acorn Growth Companies. “Randy’s impressive background and his proven track record of success is a perfect fit as we continue to invest in our country’s national security interests and pick winners in the Aerospace and Defense sectors.”
Martinez is an accomplished C-suite executive and board member with a proven track record of leadership in billion-dollar public corporations in aviation, aerospace and defense. Most recently, he served in several leadership roles with AAR, most notably president and CEO of the AAR Airlift Group and group vice president of...more
Acorn Growth Companies Hires New Aerospace and Defense Industry Leader to Mergers and Acquisitions Team
June 27, 2018 8:30am
OKLAHOMA CITY--Ritchie brings more than 10 years of aerospace, defense and government services experience in profit and loss operations, program management, strategic plan implementation and corporate development. He has spent the past four years with Northrop Grumman Technology Services, most recently managing a portfolio of military aircraft logistics and modernization programs after leading strategic planning and merger and acquisition execution for the corporation’s government services portfolio. Prior to that, he served in strategic advisory roles at The Cohen Group, Renaissance Strategic Advisors and Forecast International. He earned an MBA from the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Public Policy Analysis and Slavic Languages from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“We are very pleased Matthew has joined our expanding Washington, D.C. team,” said Robert Hinaman, Senior Partner, Acorn Growth Companies. “Matthew brings a wealth of experience, not only in aerospace and defense, but also in strategic...more