Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mitt's PEU HIgh Seas

Wired reported on Mitt Romney's Naval advisor, John Lehman and his PEU ties. 
The piece exposed Lehman's profits from shipbuilding deals, the public version.  However, they missed Lehman's role with a number of private companies.  The following made Lehman's EnerSys board bio in 2008.
He is the Chairman of the following private companies: 

1.  Special Devices, Incorporated, a manufacturer of initiators
2.  OAO Technology Solutions, Inc., an informations solutions provider
3.  Racal Instruments, Inc., a test and measurement systems developer
4.  Racal Acoustics Ltd., an audio communications company.
5.  He also serves as a Director of ISO Inc., a risk information provider. 
This was prior to the fall 2008 financial crisis, which took out a number of marginal companies, especially those highly levered.  Here's the odd thing, the EnerSys bio below Lehman's belongs to Ray Mabus, the current Secretary of Navy under President Obama.

Lehman's PEU bio added more companies to his board list:

He has served on the boards of TI Group plc, Westland Helicopter plc, Sedgwick plc and many of JFLCO’s realized investments. He currently is a director of Ball Corporation, ISO Inc., EnerSys, JFL DMH Partners, LLC (“Drew Marine”). 

Did Lehman have any connections to Cleveland Ships LLC, a mysterious company interested in buying Northrop Grumman's shipbuilding business?  Northrop spun the division off as Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., which has a close connection to Lehman's PEU. 

Thomas Fargo is Chair of Huntington Ingalls and "Member of Operating Executive Board at J.F. Lehman & Company." Fargo is a Managing Director of J.F. Lehman.

J.F. Lehman lists eighteen companies in its portfolio, however only six are current investments.  Last year it closed on a $575.5 million fund JFL Fund III.  The press release stated:

J.F. Lehman & Company focuses exclusively on the defense, aerospace and maritime industries and the technologies that originate from them. This investment strategy reflects the firm's deep experience in and commitment to these sectors for nearly two decades. Consistent with the firm's historical investment program, the funds will focus on control ownership positions in leveraged acquisitions of high quality companies in the firm's target industries in the United States and the United Kingdom. JFL Fund III has completed one acquisition to date: the June 2011 investment in US Joiner, a leading provider of end-to-end marine joiner and related shipbuilding solutions for U.S. Government and commercial customers. The firm has offices in New York and Washington, D.C.

In Mitt Romney's PEU world, connections matter, especially when spending Uncle Sam's trillions. Lehman exemplifies America's Government-Corporate Monstrosity, which Romney would love to co-chair.