Gridiron Capital Announces Joining Apex Engineering International and HM Dunn Aerospace to Form Super Tier 2 Aerospace Company

HM Dunn AeroSystems logo

NEW CANAAN, Conn., Jan. 10, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, HM Dunn Company, Inc. ("HM Dunn") and Apex Engineering International, LLC ("AEI"), portfolio companies of Gridiron Capital, LLC ("Gridiron"), announced the merger of the two companies to form HM Dunn AeroSystems, Inc. ("HM Dunn AeroSystems"), a vertically integrated Super Tier 2 aerospace manufacturer. HM Dunn's CEO, Phil Milazzo, will serve as the CEO of the combined entity, and AEI's former CEO, Jeff Landreth, will lead the business strategy and proposal development for the new company. HM Dunn AeroSystems is headquartered near Dallas, Texas.

The combination of these two organizations establishes the capability of HM Dunn AeroSystems as a Super Tier 2 supplier to commercial, military and general aviation customers. The combination of the two businesses, each with deep industry heritage, provides engineering design support, tool fabrication, complex machining, sheet metal fabrication, complex composite manufacturing, in-house processing and complete assembly capabilities to the aerospace industry. HM Dunn AeroSystems acts as a true partner for its OEM and Tier 1 customers by providing an efficient, strong and seamless value stream for the customer. The combined company will serve an international base of customers on high-growth commercial, business jet and military platforms.

Mr. Milazzo, CEO of HM Dunn AeroSystems, stated: "The combination of AEI with HM Dunn creates a tremendous opportunity for us to achieve our customers' needs in a unique way. No longer will our customers need to go to multiple providers for the engineering, design, manufacturing, processing and assembly of key components in commercial, business jet, and military markets. We are that one-stop solution."

Mr. Eugene Conese, Managing Partner of Gridiron Capital, commented: "With aircraft build rates continuing to accelerate, resulting in increased pressure on the aerospace supply chain, we became convinced the combination of our two fine portfolio companies would be the best way to serve our customers and create a compelling value proposition for them."

Editor's Notes

About H.M. Dunn

Headquartered near Dallas, TX, HM Dunn ( is an ISO 9001:2008 and AS9100 Rev. C certified manufacturer of high-precision, complex machined components, assemblies and kits used by original equipment manufacturers ("OEM"s) and Tier 1 suppliers to OEMs in the defense, commercial and civil sectors of the aerospace and defense industry. With its highly-advanced machining equipment and unmatched design and machining expertise, HM Dunn is uniquely positioned to provide value-added complex parts across a wide range of difficult-to-machine metals, including titanium, aluminum and stainless steel. HM Dunn operates in Wichita, KS, St. Louis, MO and Dallas, TX.

About AEI

AEI has over 60,000 square feet of dedicated assembly area with the assembly technicians and the tools to perform any level of assembly work from light subassemblies to complete end items. Products flowing through AEI assembly shops range from simple assemblies to complex structures such as corporate/business jet nacelles, turboprop cowlings, wings, escape hatches, cargo doors, and landing gear doors. AEI has operations in Wichita, KS and Ada, OK.

About Gridiron Capital

Gridiron Capital, LLC, headquartered in New Canaan, Connecticut, is a private equity firm focused on creating value by acquiring and building middle-market manufacturing, service and specialty consumer companies in the United States and Canada. The firm's principals have historically achieved superior investment returns by employing a combination of strategic, operating and financial experience to provide portfolio companies with competitive advantages. Gridiron's principals work closely with management teams to develop strategies for portfolio companies, as well as providing resources to execute business plans and build industry-leading companies. Additional information is available on the firm's website at

CONTACT: Media Contact: Dee Robinson Vice President Human Resources +1 817.283.3722 phone

Source: HM Dunn AeroSystems