AE Industrial Partners, a private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense and government services, space, power generation and specialty industrial markets, has acquired Cross-Fire & Security Co., a full-service fire and life safety company specializing in the design, engineering, installation, maintenance, monitoring and servicing of life safety systems. Cross-Fire will serve as the entry point for a new fire and life safety services platform for AEI, as the firm looks to make investments in the industry.
AEI has partnered with industry executives to support Cross-Fire's growth and will be strengthening its board of directors with the addition of Kelly Romano as chairman of the board, and Ed Cettina as a board member. Romano, an AEI Operating Partner, has sector experience in fire and security and commercial building industries, including over 30 years in executive roles at United Technologies Corporation (UTC). Cettina most recently was the global chief operating officer of the construction management business of AECOM, and previously worked for 24 years in senior roles at Tishman Construction.
Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Brooklyn, N.Y., Cross-Fire has worked with the New York City Fire Department and some of the largest commercial real estate firms in the country. A few of Cross-Fire's projects include Citi Field Stadium (home to the New York Mets), St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Intrepid Museum. Cross-Fire's founders, Brendan Doorly and Kevin Maguire, will maintain a role in the company going forward.
“We see tremendous opportunity in consolidating the fragmented fire and life safety sector,” said Charlie Santos-Buch, partner at AEI. “We are excited to have the opportunity to create a unique platform with significant scale and national reach. We look forward to partnering with the founders, Brendan and Kevin, and our industry experts, Kelly, Ed and others, as we grow the business.”
“Gaining a partner of AE Industrial's caliber is exciting for Cross-Fire, and will open up new avenues for growth,” Doorly and Maguire added. “Life safety companies must be able to deliver quality services and gain the trust of customers to secure preeminent projects. With AE Industrial's backing, and with the guidance of our new Board members, we will have the resources to invest in the latest technologies and services and training of our staff to offer our customers the best solutions available as we grow in our target markets. Cross-Fire's mission is to become a preeminent life safety company offering a full suite of services beyond our current fire alarm capabilities, expanding into suppression systems, sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers and more.”
Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor and PricewaterhouseCoopers served as financial advisor to AEI. Goudsouzian & Associates served as the legal advisor to Cross-Fire. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.