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Kaman Finalizes Sale of Distribution Unit

Bloomfield-based Kaman Corp. has completed the $700 million sale of its distribution unit to private equity firm Littlejohn & Co., company officials announced Monday.

The deal, first made public in June, transfers about 2,200 employees spread out over 220 locations in the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico to Littlejohn’s burgeoning industrial portfolio.

The segment handles the transport and delivery of more than six million different Kaman-made items, including bearings, power transmissions, and fluid power components, and provides engineering and design support for automation, electrical, hydraulic, linear, and pneumatic systems.

Littlejohn, which specializes in leveraged buyouts and distressed securities, has not detailed its plans for the new division or said if any employees will lose their jobs as a result of the handoff.

In a statement, Kaman President and CEO Neal J. Keating said the divestiture will allow his company to “return to its roots” as a “pure play” aerospace and engineered products business.

“With a stronger balance sheet and increased financial flexibility, Kaman is well positioned to invest in new technologies, to deliver innovative solutions that meet our customers’ needs, and to pursue strategic acquisition opportunities that will accelerate our future growth,” Keating said.

Encouraged by massive federal spending on defense projects and the advent of a new generation of commercial jet airliners, Kaman in recent years has pared down non-aerospace, non-industrial investments, including its former music instruments subsidiary, while boosting its stake in high-tech specialty manufacturers such as Gebr. Reinfurt GmbH & Co. KG, which makes miniature ball bearings, and Timken Alcor Technologies, which supplies parts to major jet engine-makers.

Kaman expects to receive roughly $600 million in net proceeds from its deal with Littlejohn and plans to use that to pay down outstanding debt, speed up internal development efforts, bolster future acquisitions in the engineered products sector, and return capital to shareholders.

Kaman, formed in Bloomfield in 1945, manufactures bearings, flexible drive systems, gearing, hydraulic and pneumatic components, industrial chemicals and lubricants, power transmissions, and seals, in addition to medium- and heavy-lift utility helicopters, which are produced through the Kaman Aircraft subsidiary.

Its clients include Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Sikorsky Aircraft.

Kaman Fuzing and Precision Products, based in Middletown, makes detonation devices for missiles and bombs for the U.S. and allied militaries.