Learn more about what Acorn and its portfolio companies are doing to create value for customers and investors.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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