Press Releases

RLJ Equity Partners LLC Announces Investment in LAI International


BETHESDA, MD//DECEMBER 15, 2009//RLJ Equity Partners, LLC today announced it has acquired a significant ownership interest in LAI International, a manufacturer of precision engineered components for a variety of industries including power generation, aerospace and defense, and healthcare. The announcement, in partnership with Spell Capital, comes five months after the close of RLJ Equity Partners Fund I, LP, with $230 million of committed capital in June 2009. Further details of the transaction were not disclosed.

“RLJ views LAI as a perfect fit with its investment strategy to back strong, entrepreneuriallyminded management teams of businesses that have sound, differentiated, value-added products or services where we can leverage our relationships to enhance the growth prospects,” said Rufus H. Rivers, Managing Director of RLJ Private Equity Partners. “We look forward to working with LAI’s management team and Spell Capital to deliver more growth opportunities to the company, which is firmly positioned to benefit from the overall economic improvement as its end markets realize a general recovery,” he concluded.

Spell Capital, a Minneapolis based lower middle market private equity firm, acquired LAI in 2005 and currently owns a majority ownership interest in the Company. Senior Managing Director Dobson West stated, “We are delighted to have RLJ as partners with us and the management team. We believe their expertise, relationships and financial resources are just what LAI needs to sustain and accelerate its rate of growth,” he added.

“We are very excited about our partnership with RLJ Private Equity Partners. We see tremendous synergies in the relationships and experience that the RLJ team brings to our collaboration and expect that our future growth will be outstanding,” said Stewart Cramer, President of LAI International. 

About RLJ Private Equity Partners: Founded in partnership with The Carlyle Group, RLJ Equity Partners specializes in middle-market leveraged buy-outs, leveraged recapitalizations, and growth equity investments. RLJ Equity’s strategy is to make control investments in companies with enterprise values between $50M and $250M within the aerospace/defense; automotive/transportation; business services; consumer/retail; general industrial and media sectors. RLJ Equity Partners is a portfolio company of The RLJ Companies, founded by Robert L. Johnson, owner of the NBA Charlotte Bobcats. The RLJ Companies is a diverse portfolio of companies in the financial services, asset management, real estate, hospitality, professional sports, film production, automotive and gaming industries. An innovative business network, The RLJ Companies seeks to target undiscovered or underserved markets then apply experienced management to achieve results. The RLJ Companies is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, with operations in Charlotte, NC; Little Rock, AR; Los Angeles, CA; Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale, FL; San Juan, PR; and Monrovia, Liberia. For more information please visit and

About Spell Capital Partners, LLC: Spell Capital Partners, LLC is a private equity buyout firm located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It makes $4 million to $12 million equity investments in well-managed, historically profitable manufacturing and distribution businesses. Spell invests in companies with revenues of at least $10 million. Spell manages $220 million of capital, and is currently investing out of its third fund, Spell Capital Partners Fund III, L.P. For more information visit

Spell Capital Contact:

Dobson West 612.371.9650

About LAI: International LAI is a leading contract manufacturer of precision-engineered components and assemblies for aerospace, power generation, defense, medical and other advanced technology industries. The company’s technology, engineering and manufacturing solutions are used to build components for airframes, aircraft engines, power generators, defense systems, medical devices and other mission-critical applications. LAI has developed strategic relationships with leading global OEMs and operates five U.S. manufacturing facilities, with locations in Minneapolis, Phoenix, Tucson, Westminster, Md., and Scarborough, Maine – all of which are ISO 9001 and AS9100 certified. The company also offers NADCAP-certified non-conventional machining processes. LAI has developed innovative applications in advanced machining processes, including waterjet cutting and drilling, laser cutting, drilling, welding and heat-treating, EDM drilling, CNC EDM, high-speed EDM, conventional CNC machining, five-axis CNC machining and precision grinding. The company also provides gage calibration, tooling production, air-flow inspection and additional manufacturing services. For more information, go to   


RLJ Private Equity Contact:

Rufus H. Rivers 240.744.7807

The RLJ Companies Media Contact:

Traci Otey Blunt 240.744.7858

Spell Capital Contact:

Dobson West 612.371.9650

LAI International Media Contact:

Matt Kalina 480.348.5942 ext.365