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TowerBrook Said Near to Buying LDC Plane-Parts Unit AIM

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Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- TowerBrook Capital Partners LP, the former private-equity arm of Soros Fund Management LLC, is in talks with the buyout arm of Lloyds Banking Group Plc to purchase British aircraft-interiors maker AIM Aviation Ltd., three people with knowledge of the matter said.

LDC may raise as much as 160 million pounds ($249 million) alongside AIM’s management through a sale to New York-based TowerBrook, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. An agreement could be announced as early as this month, they said.

AIM Aviation, based in Bournemouth, England, provides cabin interiors to commercial airlines including Emirates, the world’s largest carrier by international traffic, and Britain’s Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. It also supplies components for military aircraft from the Boeing Co. C-17 airlifter to Finmeccanica SpA’s AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters.

Officials at TowerBrook and LDC declined to comment.

TowerBrook, which was spun out of George Soros’s fund-management business in 2005, has more than $8 billion under management. Founders Ramez Sousou and Neal Moszkowski serve as co-chief executive officers. The firm in May agreed to buy True Religion Apparel Inc., a maker of designer jeans, having previously owned the Jimmy Choo Ltd. luxury shoe brand.

LDC, which specializes in small and mid-sized U.K. businesses, has completed more than 440 investments since its founding in 1981, according to its website.

Private-equity firms typically pool money from pension plans and endowments with a mandate to buy companies within five to six years, then sell them and return the money and a profit after 10 years. The firms usually charge a management fee of as much as 2 percent and keep 20 percent of the profits from investments.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kiel Porter in London at kporter17@bloomberg.net; Aaron Kirchfeld in London at akirchfeld@bloomberg.net; Robert Wall in London at rwall6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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