A Reuters report last night said that the private equity owners of Landmark Aviation have put the company up for sale. Landmark is owned by GTCR Golder Rauner and Platform Partners and includes an FBO chain (52 bases), maintenance and charter division and Encore Support Systems. Encore FBO, backed by GTCR Golder Rauner and Platform Partners, purchased the Landmark Aviation Airport Services Division from Dubai Aerospace Enterprise in March 2008 for an undisclosed amount. At the time, this added 33 FBOs to Encore’s eight to create the global Landmark network.
Private equity firms
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.”
Bond Aviation Group has been acquired by World Helicopters, a holding firm owned by Investindustrial and KKR. Bond and Spain’s Inaer now share the same parent company. According to a joint statement, Bond owners Peter and Stephen Bond have made “a substantial financial investment” in World Helicopters. The Bond brand “will continue,” as will the current senior management team.
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.
Landmark Aviation and the Asheville Regional Airport Authority celebrated the grand opening of the FBO chain’s FBO terminal at Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina on April 16. Landmark spent $4.6 million on the new facility, which features a 23,000-sq-ft hangar, pilot’s lounge, flight planning room and conference room. Landmark has 41 FBOs in the U.S., Canada and Europe and is owned by GTCR Golder Rauner and Platform Partners.
Directional Capital, an investment firm led by Flight Options chairman and founder Kenn Ricci, private-equity firm Resilience Capital Partners and “key members” of the Flight Options management team, has made an additional investment in fractional provider Flight Options. HIG Capital, which acquired the Cleveland-based company in November 2007, remains a minority investor.
Directional Capital and Resilience Capital Partners have increased their financial stake in fractional-share operator Flight Options and now own a majority of the company. Members of Flight Options’ management team also participated in the new investment. Directional Capital is headed by Kenn Ricci, chairman of Flight Options and also the company’s founder.
Directional Capital, an investment firm led by Flight Options chairman Kenn Ricci, private-equity firm Resilience Capital Partners and “key members” of the Flight Options management team have made an additional investment in fractional provider Flight Options. H.I.G. Capital, which acquired the Cleveland-based company in November 2007, also remains an investor, but to what degree remained unknown at press time.
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has arranged $800 million in loans and revolving credit to fund “general corporate purposes.” The fresh capital, available on a three-year term, has come from a group of banks including Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Emirates Bank International, Lloyds TSB Bank and Noor Islamic Bank.