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Aero tire distributor Desser sold

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MONTEBELLO, Calif. (Aug. 21, 2014) — Private investment firm Graham Partners Inc. has acquired aircraft tire distributor, servicer and retreader Desser Tire & Rubber Co. Inc. and two affiliated companies for an undisclosed price.

Chris Lawler, managing principal at Graham Partners, called Desser an “established market leader with unparalleled name recognition among customers for aircraft tires and unique capabilities.”

Mr. Lawler said Graham Partners — which has been seeking investments in the aviation product aftermarket — plans to work with Desser’s management team “to build upon Desser’s record of success as a specialized aviation product supplier.” He did not identify which of Desser’s executives will be staying on under the new ownership.

Family-owned and -operated since 1920, Desser supplies new aircraft tires and other aviation products and services from facilities in Montebello and Memphis.  

Desser also holds Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approvals for high-speed aircraft tire retreading and wheel and brake services, and it produces aviation transparencies for aftermarket applications.

The firms did not disclose Desser’s annual sales or employment or identify Desser’s owners.

The affiliated companies acquired are Aero Wheel & Brake Service Corp. Inc., which operates an FAA-certified repair station for wheel and brake services, and Cee Bailey’s Aircraft Plastics, a custom manufacturer of plastic products for the aviation, motorcycle and automotive industries.

Desser states on its web site it handles Bridgestone-, Condor-, Dunlop-, Goodyear-, Michelin- and Specialty-brand aircraft tires. The company is one of two distributors of Dunlop-brand aero tires throughout the Americas, according to a 2011 agreement with Dunlop Aircraft Tyres Ltd.

Graham Partners said it intends to leverage its operating resources and industry expertise to capitalize on Desser’s strong brand name and reputation.

To do so Grahama Patners invests not only capital, but it also uses its industry knowledge, resources and contacts to improve operations and promote growth for its portfolio companies.

Graham Partners states its mission is to invest in businesses with advanced industrial technologies, innovative product offerings and strong growth potential. It claims to have more than $1.5 billion in capital under management.

The company has one other company in aerospace, Wichita, Kan.-based Atlas Group, which specializes in complex machining and assembly of new and replacement aerospace structures and assemblies for commercial, business and defense aircraft. Atlas Group operates one FAA-certified repair station.

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