Ducommun Acquires MagSeal for $69.5 Million

Ducommun, a defense and industrial manufacturer based in southern California, has acquired Magnetic Seal Corporation, a pioneering developer of engineered magnetic seals for aerospace and defense applications. The price was about $69.5 million. According to financial details reported in February, the purchase capped off a strong year for Ducommun and was aided by netting $110 million in a separate deal to sell and lease back its property in Gardena. 

“I am delighted to welcome the MagSeal business and its team to Ducommun as we continue our strategy of adding high value-added aerospace and defense engineered products with recurring aftermarket to our portfolio,” said Stephen Oswald, CEO of Ducommun. 

“We are excited to join the Ducommun family. MagSeal’s combined knowledge, experience and expertise to design, prototype, value engineer and manufacture aerospace quality seal solutions will complement Ducommun’s existing portfolio of engineered products for the defense industry. With Ducommun, MagSeal expects to accelerate its growth and expand its focus on innovative offerings to meet the needs of an evolving military,” said Robert Garde, MagSeal’s president.

“2021 was a return to growth story for Ducommun and I’m pleased with how much we accomplished along with positioning the company for continued success in the years ahead,” said Oswald in February as he summarized the year’s performance. “In December alone, we netted over $110 million in after-tax proceeds related to the sale-leaseback of our Gardena, CA performance center building and land, effectively monetizing and unlocking its value at record prices to fuel growth and strengthen our balance sheet. A portion of the proceeds were immediately deployed for the MagSeal acquisition which brings innovative engineered sealing solutions to Ducommun, enhances our aerospace product portfolio and increases the company’s aftermarket capabilities and revenue.” 

“Ducommun ended the year with a strong backlog as well of approximately $905 million, with gains driven by a recent uptick in commercial aerospace orders. For 2021, we posted revenues of approximately $645 million, led by another record year for military and space, topping $450 million, along with strong gross margins. In 2022, with growing travel demand and subsiding pandemic-related related restrictions, the commercial aerospace industry should continue its recovery, especially in the narrow body market. Our longstanding customer relationships with Boeing, Raytheon, and other leading OEMs, along with our five-year Airbus contract for titanium products awarded in 2021 are expected to drive stronger performance in 2022 and beyond.” 

MagSeal, founded in 1954 and based in Warren, Rhode Island, revolutionized the mechanical seal industry with the introduction of its proprietary magnetic seals by incorporating permanent magnets into their design and manufacture. The company has since evolved into a provider of high-impact, military-proven magnetic seals for critical systems in aerospace and defense applications that are engineered to perform in high-speed, high-vibration and other challenging environments. 

Today, it supplies sealing solutions to every branch of the U.S. military and is entrenched on more than 50 commercial and military aircraft programs including the AH-64 Apache and CH-53K helicopters, F-15 and F-18 fighter jets, C-130 transports, A320, B737 and Cessna Citation jets. MagSeal makes a variety of seals for different applications. Its Model 10, for example, depicted above and pictured at top, can be manufactured for shafts up to 5 inches in diameter. 

Basically, magnetic seals are rotary shaft face seals. They apply a rare earth magnetic material as a stator and a rotor with a small section of carbon press fit into a precision machined steel carrier or housing. Unlike a spring load, the magnet places a uniform load across the entire seal face calibrated by a precise air gap and the magnetizing process of the magnet. 

Ducommun, evolving from a hardware supply store opened in 1849 in Los Angeles by Charles Ducommun during the California Gold Rush, is the oldest company in California. It assisted in the birth of the aerospace industry in southern California by providing aircraft aluminum to early aerospace pioneers like Lindbergh, Douglas and Lockheed. Today, it provides manufacturing solutions to customers in the aerospace, defense and industrial markets primarily in two core areas, electronic systems and structural systems. See www.ducommun.com and www.magseal.com