John (Rick) Haskins, one of the founding partners and former president and CEO of Jet Support Services (JSSI), died last week in Chicago at the age of 67 after a battle with cancer. He led the company, the first independent engine hourly-cost maintenance program provider, from its inception in 1989 until its 2008 sale to private equity firms R.H. Book and 1848 Capital Partners. Haskins then went on to found an investment firm that provides growth capital to aviation-related companies, and to lead a short-lived helicopter airport shuttle service.
Camp Systems International purchased maintenance-tracking provider Avtrak last week. In early May, Camp was sold by private equity firm Warburg Pincus to another private equity company, GTCR (owner of the Landmark Aviation FBO chain), for a reported $600 to $700 million.
Camp CEO Ken Gray said that he had indicated an interest in buying Avtrak to co-founders Joe and Glenn Hertzler. He added, “The Hertzler brothers made a decision for personal reasons that it was time to exit, and we were a logical acquirer.”
California-based private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners finalized its acquisition of ground-support equipment manufacturer Tronair (Booth P413) earlier this month. The U.S. company makes more than 1,000 products, including towbars, electric tugs, tripod jacks, de-icer carts, lavatory servicing equipment, potable water carts and engine inlet covers for more than 300 business aircraft, military aircraft and airliners. Tronair was founded in 1971 as Danair, a division of the Dana flight department, and first manufactured towbars for Learjets, Falcons and the Gulfstream Is.
Completion and refurbishment specialist Pats Aircraft Systems, has executed the final steps in a restructuring agreement with its lenders that formally establishes the Georgetown, Del.-based center as “a fully capitalized, stand-alone company with a significantly reduced debt structure.”
A public-private financing construct designed to assist airlines in equipping their fleets for next-generation air traffic operations is nearing realization, according to one of the principals.
Aerospace firms have been doing a roaring trade here at the Paris Air Show, selling record volumes of aircraft, engines and all the associated systems and services that go with them. But, according to leading mergers and acquisitions specialists, they should be just as busy buying and selling each other since the industry recovery now presents the ideal combination of motive and opportunity.
The big financial freeze that has gripped much of the aerospace industry since around the time of the last Farnborough airshow in 2008 is starting to thaw. And, as a consequence, deal making is back in fashion.
This was the headline assessment of the state of the sector from Michael Richter, managing director of the aerospace and defense group of financial advisor and asset manager Lazard on the eve of this week’s show.
Billions of dollars worth of new corporate deals are set to be struck in the aerospace sector over the coming weeks, according to Michael Richter, managing director and co-head of Lazard's Aerospace & Defense Investment Banking Group. In part, these deals are being driven by tactical investment factors, such as the need for U.S.
Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Aabar Investments is investing a further $20 million in charter provider XOJet. The move came just four months after XOJet secured $470 million in additional funding from a group led by TPG, a Fort Worth-based private equity firm, and Aabar. Meanwhile, Aabar and XOjet said they plan to form a joint venture in the UAE to provide aviation services in the Middle East and North Africa.
XOJet has secured $470 million in additional financing, including $100 million in equity and a “more flexible debt facility” of $370 million that allows for the purchase of either new or used aircraft. The financing was led by TPG, a Fort Worth-based private equity firm, and Aabar, an Abu Dhabi-based investment firm. XOJet plans to use the additional capital to expand its charter aircraft operations.