Mereo 4 is a provider of supply chain management support for weapons systems, aero, and ground vehicles. Basically, the company acts as an intermediary between manufacturers and customers. Among Mereo’s producer partners are Pratt & Whitney, General Electric, Boeing, and Airbus, while its primary clients are the US government and its allies. As such, from 2013 to 2021, the company received seven contracts from the Defense Logistics Agency, US Navy, and US Army. The most recent agreement obliges Mereo 4 to provide Spare Parts Support for Lebanon’s helicopter fleet. In fact, its tasks are on-time deliveries, quality control, repair, and replacement of parts.
Mereo 4 also serves the commercial sector by supplying aftermarket equipment for aircraft. Moreover, in 2020, the company received AS9100D Quality Certification, one of the aerospace industry’s widest adopted and standardized quality management systems. Combined with the previous ISO9001: 2015 Quality Certification, it expands the ability to serve customers worldwide. Consequently, Mereo 4 has a wide range of clients but carries a high responsibility in fulfilling government contracts.
Although the company seems successful today, its history has not been so smooth. During the early years of Mereo 4, its founders, James Clark and David Perri, were dragged into litigation with their former employer, AAR Corp. It all started when Clark was fired from AAR in 2011 and deprived of his severance payments and stock options. He accused AAR of wrongful termination due to age discrimination. In reality, the reason could be deterioration in Clark’s performance as his department’s numbers dropped. Perri, who also worked at AAR and left in 2011, received his payments in full.
In response, AAR filed a lawsuit against Clark and Perri, accusing them of competing and stealing AAR customers. In the severance agreement, which both employees signed after their dismissal, such actions are reasons for refusing payments and fining. Since Mereo 4 was created before the severance payments deadline, AAR hoped to win. Charges were also brought against two other employees, De Waard and Amy Woods (Somers), who joined Perrі. However, the co-founders convinced the court that their company was not a competitor to AAR. The case was settled in December 2014, with AAR agreeing to pay Clark $ 1.5 million in compensations.
It is difficult to understand the court’s decision because, at first glance, the companies are direct competitors. AAR’s primary purpose is to provide supply management support for aircraft and their various systems. While Mereo also works with weapon systems and ground vehicles, it does the same. Both companies have orders from the government and private business, and at least nine of Mereo’s employees have worked for AAR in the past. In addition, one of the first company’s investors was Otto Instrument Service, a potential purchaser of the AAR business unit in Amsterdam. AAR even claimed that Mereo stole Otto Tool as a customer. However, as we know, the arguments of Clark and Perry’s lawyers were convincing enough for the court, so AAR had to obey.
As such, Mereo 4 continues to evolve with support from governments and international organizations. For example, in 2018, the company received a supply chain management contract with the global environmental organization The Nature Conservancy. According to their agreement, Mereo should provide full support to Palmyra Atoll in protecting the marine environment. In 2020, Mereo and 10th Light LLC also created COLT2 LLC, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned (“SDVOSB”) Joint Venture Company. Both projects show Mereo 4 as a socially responsible company: it protects nature with The Nature Conservancy and helps US veterans with the 10th Light. However, its owners do not forget about their own interests: SDVOSB organizations are supported by the government and receive 3% of all federal contracting dollars. Additionally, Mereo has the right to receive purchase orders under a Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract from the Navy for a total sum of $10 billion until 2029. So, the company has taken a very favorable position, acting as a “good guy” for American society but existing mainly at taxpayers’ expense.