Chinese seating manufacturer Zhejiang Science and Technology Investment Company (ZTC) has paid £55 million ($73.7 million) to acquire a stake in UK-based Acro Aircraft Seating previously held by private equity firm BGF.


“The company will, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions including regulatory approval, be acquired by ZTC for £55 million. The acquisition will accelerate Acro’s access to the Chinese market. ZTC is the parent company of Zhejiang Tiancheng Controls Co, a manufacturer of seats for construction vehicles, trucks and cars listed in Shanghai,” Acro said on Sept. 27. “Acro’s current shareholders will exit as part of the transaction.”


Economy aircraft seat specialist Acro was founded in 2007 by Chris Brady, Andy Lawler and David Starkey. BGF bought into Acro in November 2015, investing £7.8 million in to the company, money which was used for working capital, as well as design, product development and supply chain investment.


“Following the acquisition, the company will continue its growth strategy and maintain its current brand at the same time as benefitting from ZTC’s connections,” Acro said.


Acro CEO Chris Brady and his management team will continue in their roles after the ownership change.


“The acquisition by ZTC is a significant opportunity and vote of confidence,” Brady said. “While we had

not been actively seeking a buyer, becoming part of the ZTC group opens up huge potential to reach the Chinese market, which is of major strategic advantage.”


Since 2015, Acro’s headcount has grown by 50% and sales have risen by nearly 20%. The company’s turnover currently stands at £30 million. This year, Acro also secured a slot in Airbus’ catalog.

Victoria Moores