BBA Aviation plc announced today that it has agreed terms for the proposed $2.065 billion acquisition of Landmark Aviation (Landmark) from affiliates of The Carlyle Group. Landmark operates a global network of Fixed Base Operations (FBOs), Aircraft Maintenance and Aircraft Management and Charter businesses. This acquisition represents a major expansion of Signature Flight Support (Signature), a BBA Aviation company, and the world’s largest FBO network. The transaction is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals and is expected to close in early 2016.
Landmark has 68 FBOs that are complementary to Signature’s existing network of 133 wholly owned and affiliate global locations. Landmark’s aircraft maintenance locations will also supplement Signature’s existing MRO operations delivered through its Signature TECHNICAir and CSE Citation Centre brands. Landmark’s aircraft management and charter fleet numbers over 110 aircraft.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Simon Pryce, Chief Executive of BBA Aviation said, “This is a transformational step in the continued execution of BBA Aviation’s strategy that is both strategically and financially compelling. It represents a unique opportunity to materially expand our global Signature FBO business and deepen our exposure to the attractive B&GA market with its structural growth drivers.
The acquisition would enable customers to benefit from an extension of Signature’s industry-leading service offering and its operational excellence across a much larger network of high quality locations. Combining Signature and Landmark Aviation also would realise significant cost synergies as well substantial tax benefits.
More broadly, the acquisition increases BBA Aviation’s focus on the provision of value-added services to B&GA users and enhances the Group’s prospects for cash generation and value creation through effective integration, continued strategy execution and active portfolio management.”
Maria Sastre, President and Chief Operating Officer of Signature, also commented on the acquisition, “We are delighted that BBA Aviation has agreed to this proposed acquisition of Landmark. This is a strategic fit for the Signature network. It will significantly expand our reach within North America as well as globally. It will also enhance Signature’s customer value proposition and materially increase the relevance of our network for our customers. Once completed, Signature will be able to offer its world-class customer experience and loyalty programs across a much broader network of leading B&GA locations. We believe this transaction to be one of the most significant acquisitions in the business and general aviation industry. We look forward to welcoming the Landmark team to the Signature family once the transaction is approved and closed.”
Dan Bucaro, President and Chief Executive Officer of Landmark, said, “We are very appreciative of the strong relationships we have developed over the years with airport sponsors, customers, and vendors. We are confident that the success we have achieved at Landmark will carry forward under BBA Aviation’s ownership. We especially would like to thank our team at The Carlyle Group for its exceptional support.”
Adam Palmer, Carlyle Managing Director and Head of the Global Aerospace, Defense and Government Services team, said, “We are extremely grateful to Dan and the entire Landmark team for their strong partnership, during which they worked tirelessly to create one of the world’s premier FBO networks and largest managed aircraft fleets. We are proud of the company’s tremendous growth under our ownership and the high level of service provided to its customers.”
J.P. Morgan Limited acted as sole financial adviser to BBA Aviation in connection with the transaction. Slaughter and May are serving as legal adviser as to English Law to BBA Aviation on the transaction. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP are serving as legal adviser as to U.S. Law to BBA Aviation on the transaction. Barclays Bank PLC, acting through its investment bank, acted as an adviser to BBA Aviation on certain financial aspects of the transaction.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Evercore Group L.L.C. acted as financial advisors to Landmark in connection with the transaction. Latham & Watkins LLP, Jones Day and Zuckert, Scoutt & Rasenberger LLP are serving as legal advisors to Landmark and Carlyle on the transaction.
BBA Aviation plc is a leading global aviation support and aftermarket services provider. BBA Aviation’s Flight Support businesses (Signature Flight Support and ASIG) provide specialist on-airport support services, including refuelling and ground handling, to the owners and operators of private, business, military and commercial aircraft. BBA Aviation’s Aftermarket Services businesses (Dallas Airmotive, Premier Turbines, H+S Aviation, International Turbine Service, W. H. Barrett Turbine Engine Company, International Governor Services and Ontic) are focused on the repair and overhaul of gas turbine engines and the service of aerospace components, sub-systems and systems. BBA Aviation group companies operate from more than 220 individual locations on five continents. For more information, please visit www.bbaaviation.com
Signature Flight Support, a BBA Aviation plc company, is the world’s largest fixed-base operation (FBO) and distribution network for business aviation services. Signature services include fueling, hangar and office rentals, ground handling, maintenance and a wide range of crew and passenger amenities at strategic domestic and international locations. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, Signature currently operates at more than 130 locations in the United States, Canada, Caribbean, Europe, South America, Africa and Asia.
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Landmark Aviation operates a network of fixed base operations located throughout the U.S., Canada and Western Europe. The Company offers a wide range of services, including FBO, MRO, aircraft management & charter. Landmark is a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group.
The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global alternative asset manager with $193 billion of assets under management across 128 funds and 159 fund of funds vehicles as of June 30, 2015. Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, many of whom are public pensions. Carlyle invests across four segments – Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Market Strategies and Investment Solutions – in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America. Carlyle has expertise in various industries, including: aerospace, defense & government services, consumer & retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial, real estate, technology & business services, telecommunications & media and transportation. The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,700 people in 35 offices across six continents.