Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cleveland Ship LLC: Mystery PEU

Cleveland Ship, LLC, the sole public bidder for Northrop Grumman's shipbuilding assets, is shrouded in mystery.  The little known Ohio firm formed in 2007 and  is headed by CEO Edward L. Bartlett Jr.  Investors started Cleveland Ship to land the Navy's next generation oil tanker.

The Ventura County Star reported on the Northrop Grumman bid:

Cleveland Ship said it intends to own the business long term

A Daily Press article told a different story:

If successful with its bid, Cleveland intends to take the company public.

Bartlett said Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and his acquisition chief, Sean Stackley, "are well aware of what we're up to." He declined to elaborate.

Spoken like a private equity underwriter (PEU).  How much will Cleveland Ship rack up in deal costs, buyout and subsequent IPO?  Who are the retired military men and Wall Street financiers behind the three year old, mystery firm?

Apparently, the public doesn't have a right to know who might make America's nuclear submarines.  Cleveland Ship is not the only newcomer to the security stage.  Six3 Systems popped up recently.  Both firms aim to garner major defense work.  Both have incredible Washington connections.

Note:  The photo is of The Cleveland Ship Building Company in the 1890's.

Update 8-24-11:  Cleveland Ship did not win Northrup Grumman's shipyards, however it did execute a Navy development contract.  The company noted in its shipyard sales pitch to Governor Bobby Jindal, "we have since been contacted by an advanced technology wind energy company to partner in the production of offshore wind energy platforms."  As for Ray Mabus, he's a clean energy pioneer.  By the way, is the wind energy company Juhl?