B/E Aerospace buys 787 supplier

A German company that was looking for an Everett-area site to assemble 787 components has been bought by another aerospace firm with local ties.

It’s too soon to tell what that means for Draeger Aerospace’s plans for a new plant here, a spokesman said.

“It’s going to take 12 to 15 months to consolidate the businesses,” said Doug Dean, the investor relations manager for buyer B/E Aerospace. “It’s too early to tell if we’re going to have a product development facility near Boeing.”

B/E is the parent company of Flight Structures Inc. of Marysville, which does engineering and some assembly work for the company’s other divisions.

Florida-based B/E said Wednesday that it paid $80 million cash for Draeger, which was a subsidiary of Cobham PLC of the United Kingdom.

Draeger is a leading supplier of oxygen supply systems for both civil and military aircraft. Combining it with B/E’s existing oxygen business will allow the company to offer the broadest line of oxygen supply systems in the industry, B/E executives said.

“We’re two companies playing in the same space,” Dean said. “We’re very complementary.

“We’re very excited about this,” he continued. “We think it’s an awesome acquisition.”

B/E now supplies Boeing oxygen systems from a plant in Kansas.

Draeger was the first 787 supplier to announce plans to move to Everett.

In January, Draeger disclosed that it was looking for a 20,000-square-foot factory building where about 10 workers would assemble passenger service units for the Boeing Co.’s new 787. Passenger service units are the lighting and ventilation systems that go above each seat.

The units are being designed by PCSI Design, an Everett engineering firm.

B/E announced the Draeger purchase shortly before it released its second-quarter earnings report.

The company said it had record revenues of $271.5 million for the quarter, an increase of more than 30 percent over its $207.6 million in revenue during the same period last year.

B/E reported a profit of $18.7 million for the quarter, more than double its profit of $8.4 million for the second quarter of 2005. On a per-share basis, earnings grew to 24 cents, from 14 cents. B/E issued an additional 19.9 million shares of stock between the periods.

B/E didn’t have a major contract win during the period, just a steady stream of orders, chief executive Armin Khoury said.

The growth was particularly strong in orders for premium-class retrofit contracts, the company said. That included orders for new seats and galleys, and for engineering services.

Reporter Bryan Corliss: 425-339-3454 or corliss@heraldnet.com.

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