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LMI Aerospace to buy Valent for at least $237M

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- LMI Aerospace Inc., which provides design services and components for aircraft, said Thursday that it has agreed to buy Valent Aerostructures LLC for at least $237 million in cash and stock.

LMI, which is based in St. Louis, said the addition of Valent will diversify its lineup of products and services, while boosting the growth of its existing product platforms.

Kansas City, Mo.-based Valent provides structural components, major sub-assemblies and machined parts for manufacturers and larger suppliers in the aerospace and defense industries. It supplies significant content for several major commercial, business jet and military platforms, including a variety of Boeing aircraft models, LMI said.

Assuming the deal closes this year, LMI expects to generate over $480 million in revenue based on projected 2013 results of the combined companies.

As part of the acquisition, LMI said that Charlie and Henry Newell, Valent's current co-chief executives, will become co-presidents of LMI's aerostructures segment.

The deal includes $15 million in LMI stock, along with a potential earn out of up to $40 million if Valent exceeds certain profit thresholds next year.

In addition, LMI said the deal also includes about $9.7 million in "certain retained obligations."

The agreement was unanimously approved by LMI's board, but remains subject to a variety of closing conditions including regulatory approvals. It's expected to close by the end of the year.

LMI said that RBC Capital Markets has agreed to provide $300 million in new financing to pay for the acquisition, refinance existing debt and fund working capital requirements. LMI said it expects the acquisition to slightly lower its 2012 earnings per share, but significantly boost its profits in 2014.

LMI shares fell 67 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $18.15 in midday trading Thursday. Its shares have traded in a 52-week range of $14.97 to $21.41.