Over the course of 2018, transactions in the ADG space generally took the form of smaller, complementary transactions that served as the foundation for broader growth strategies, a notable contrast to the large-scale aerospace mergers that dominated the ADG sector during the preceding year.

Facing mounting cost pressures, some suppliers looked to consolidate to improve scale and cost efficiencies. With the decrease in mega-deals and rising cost pressures, total deal value in the ADG sector experienced a significant decline during 2018.

Our ADG sector group generated thought leadership through our monthly ADG Insights publication, providing perspectives on the top legal and political issues facing the ADG industry, including supply chain management, artificial intelligence, space policy, antitrust and competition considerations, and False Claims Act developments.

We also expanded our ADG CLE offerings to include international contract drafting, 3D printing and the internet of things, cross-border investigations, cybersecurity, commercial UAS operations, and export control reform.

Select 2018 experience

KBR

We advised KBR, Inc. on its US$355m acquisition of SGT, Inc., an engineering, mission operations, scientific, and IT service solutions provider to the U.S. government.

Our fourth transaction for KBR in recent years, this acquisition helps to further strengthen KBR’s position within the government services market, NASA, and the broader space industry.

Our Northern Virginia M&A lawyers led a cross-office, cross-practice team on this deal, supported by lawyers from our employee benefits, environment, government contracts, IP, regulatory, and tax practices.

Smiths Group

We advised Smiths Group Plc, a leading technology-driven global engineering company, on its US$345m acquisition of United Flexible, Inc., a maker of parts for aircraft engines, from private equity firm Arlington Capital Partners.

United Flexible was integrated into Smith Group’s Flex-Tek division, strengthening Flex-Tek’s positions in aerospace and industrial end markets globally.

An M&A team from our Baltimore, London, and Northern Virginia offices led this deal. They were supported by lawyers from our antitrust, employment, environment, IP, real estate, regulatory, and tax practices.

Swissport

We advised Swissport International Ltd., the world’s largest provider of ground and cargo handling services in the aviation industry, on its acquisition of Aerocare, a leading baggage and ground handler in the Australian and New Zealand air services market.

The acquisition of Aerocare provides Swissport with an exceptional platform to strategically expand into the fast-growing Australasian market.

An M&A team from our Perth and Sydney offices led this transaction, supported by lawyers in our finance practice. The global team involved our London, Luxembourg, Madrid, New York, Paris, and Singapore offices.

TAV

We advised TAV Airports on its acquisition of 49% of ICF Antalya, the joint venture that manages Antalya International Airport. TAV and Fraport AG, owner of 51% of ICF's share capital, will co-control ICF with equal rights.

As Antalya International is the second largest airport in Turkey by international passenger traffic, the acquisition further maintains TAV's position as a leader in the airport operations sector in Turkey. TAV’s total portfolio now includes 18 airports servicing approximately 141 million passengers.

Our Paris M&A team led this transaction.

Read next: Automotive and Mobility M&A