Press release

London  |  Wednesday 16 November 2016

Shaanxi Ligeance Mineral Resources (SLMR) is to acquire Gardner Aerospace for £326m

It was announced today that Gardner Aerospace – one of Europe's market leaders in aerospace metallic detailed parts – is to be acquired by Shaanxi Ligeance Mineral Resources ("SLMR") and its subsidiary Chengdu Aerospace Superalloy Technology ("CAST"), for £326m in cash. SLMR, which is listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange with a market capitalisation of £1.4bn, is being advised by Steen Associates, Herbert Smith Freehills and KPMG in connection with the acquisition.

Commenting on the transaction, Lizhi Wang, Vice President of SLMR and CEO of CAST said, "The acquisition of Gardner will allow us to serve our customers better – in China and the rest of the world – for decades to come. With the management team at Gardner together with our advisers – we intend to further consolidate the global aerospace supply chain through careful strategic acquisitions."

Gardner is a European leader in the manufacture of aerospace parts supplied to aerospace OEMs – notably Airbus and other airframe and engine manufacturers. The business is headquartered in Derby, UK, and has additional manufacturing locations across Europe and in India, employing 1500 people. Gardner employs 690 staff in the UK. The company has revenues of approximately £150m and operating margins of around 20%, and is well positioned on existing Airbus platforms including the A320, A330, and A350.

SLMR is an aerospace and mining corporation. SLMR mining division owns a number of rhenium mines in Northern Huashan, with proven reserves equal to 7% of the global market. Rhenium is a rare mineral used in the production of superalloys that are vital in the manufacture of aerospace components. Both SLMR and CAST have close relationships with the regional and national Chinese authorities.

Jim Heaviside from CAST, who will sit on the Gardner Board and lead the development of the group, commented, "As an ambitious trade buyer, we think this is a very exciting development for Gardner as it moves from financial ownership towards a strategic owner with clear plans for further growth domestically and globally. SLMR and CAST have been looking for a solid acquisition like this for some time and we are absolutely convinced that Gardner has the long-term attributes we are looking for – strong management, technical proficiency, embedded customer relationships and high potential for growth."

The proposed transaction remains subject to certain regulatory and other approvals (including from the shareholders of Gardner Aerospace, following consultation with Gardner's works council in France).


Notes to Editors:


Shaanxi Ligeance Mineral Resources Co., Ltd. is an A-share listed company on the China main board Market with stock code 000697. Their main business is divided into two sections: the mining sector and the aviation sector. Market value 12 billion yuan (£1.35 billion), 500 million yuan (£56 million) cash balance.


CAST is a wholly owned subsidiary of Shaanxi Ligeance Mineral Resources Co., Ltd. based in Chengdu, China – home of the Panda.


Key personnel: Lizhi Wang – CAST CEO and SLMR VP – one of China's government's "the one-thousand-talents scheme". Expert of Aero & IGT engine manufacturing and MRO. Worked for RR, GE, Honeywell as aerospace industrial company operation and supply chain quality executive. Familiar with aero-engine supply chain development and management, manufacturing, international certification process and aviation special processes.


Key personnel: James Heaviside – CAST NBD & Globalization Executive (America & Europe). Over 45 years of international experience in aerospace companies such as Boeing, GE and Smiths Aerospace. Full range of global perspectives, powerful skill in negotiation and corporation merging. Strong expertise in America, Europe and Asia for JV and supply chain development.


Steen Associates London Office

27 Great Queen Street


About Steen Associates

Steen Associates is an independent mergers and acquisitions company specialising in cross-border transactions in the aerospace & defence and industrials sectors. Steen has advised on a wide range of strategic transactions, predominantly in Europe and the USA, from its offices in London, Paris and Frankfurt.

For more details about Steen Associates please visit


Contact Details

Jason Steen
Steen Associates

T: +44 (0)20 7405 5040
E: more