Moelis Capital Buys Mxi; GasTops Suit Settles

 - May 23, 2012, 1:23 PM

New York City-based private equity company Moelis Capital Partners (MCP) has acquired Mxi Technologies. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Ottawa, Canada-based Mxi Technologies provides maintenance software including Maintenix, which manages the engineering, planning, execution, materials management and maintenance-related business support and analytic activities of aviation organizations. Dave Seibel, Mxi’s CEO and president, told AIN, “Moelis is focused on the aerospace/defense industry; they’re a good match for us.”

Seibel and the existing management team will continue in their current capacities with the company. Seibel will also continue to hold the position of chairman of the board but will be joined by Kurt Larsen, Greg Share and Jim Johnston, all of MCP, who replace the existing board members.

In an exclusive interview with AIN, Jim Johnston, MCP principal, said the acquisition is MCP’s third investment in the aviation service sector. It has also invested in Flightstar Aircraft Services of Jacksonville, Fla., and Hawthorne Global Aviation Services of Charleston, S.C. 

“We were impressed with the solution [Mxi Technologies] offers in aviation maintenance management and their existing customers. We feel we can help them continue to grow with our broad network of industry contacts we’ve built over the past 25 years. We also feel we can help enhance the ability of their sales force to find new customers and grow with existing customers,” he said.

Separately, Mxi announced the end of litigation in Mxi v. GasTops with the payment of the lower-court judgment against Mxi (slightly more than $20 million, including damages, legal costs and interest).

The case spanned more than 15 years, making it the longest civil trial in Canadian history. It ended with a finding that four past GasTops executives, the company’s technology experts, were liable for breaching fiduciary trust. Based upon a statement of claim in 1996, the judge found the executives had resigned that year without proper notice to GasTops, started Mxi and went on to use privileged access to confidential software information, as well as commercial information about clients and marketing plans, to duplicate GasTops’s trade secrets. According to the claim, Mxi then lured away customers, including the U.S. Navy, Kuwaiti Air Force, Canadian Department of Transport and the Canadian RCMP.

Both parties appealed the lower-court decision and both appeals were dismissed by the Ontario Appellate Court, which upheld the original judgment.

“I speak for the entire organization when I say that we are happy to be closing this chapter in Mxi’s history and moving forward in building our business,” Seibel said.