TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P. (“TowerBrook”), a leading international investment management firm, has agreed the terms for the acquisition of its controlling stake in AIM Aviation (which trades as “AIM Altitude”), to be acquired by AVIC International Aero-Development Corporation (“AVIC”), a leading Chinese multinational aviation company.
The agreement will give AIM Altitude access to AVIC’s global reach and extensive network of clients and suppliers in the thriving Asian aviation market. AVIC’s scale and access to the Chinese market will also boost AIM Altitude’s expertise in designing, engineering and manufacturing cabin interiors for the world’s major airlines.
Mr Mark Edwards, CEO of AIM Altitude said “This is a very exciting development for AIM Altitude as it combines our design, engineering and manufacturing strengths with a major strategic aerospace business who have a particular focus on growing our commercial aircraft interiors market presence and capabilities in China and the Far East.”
Mr Xu Tongyu, Vice President of AVIC International Aero-Development Corporation said: “AVIC International today is a leading diverse multinational corporation covering the whole aviation industry and value chain. AIM Altitude’s expertise in cabin interiors will further extend our core capabilities and international competitiveness. We look forward to welcoming the AIM Altitude team and employees into the group.”
Mr Ramez Sousou, Co-CEO of TowerBrook said: “AVIC is clearly a great strategic owner for AIM Altitude and we are delighted that they will continue to build this business. We thank Mark Edwards and the management team for building the long-term value of AIM Altitude during our ownership.”
In recent years AIM Altitude has strengthened its relationship with leading aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus and with major global airlines including Emirates and Qatar Airways. The acquisition of Altitude from Air New Zealand in 2014 helped position AIM Altitude as a key partner for Boeing’s 777 aircraft while the relationship with Airbus has strengthened further with both companies working together on new Airbus platforms.
The appointments of senior aviation industry leaders, Mr Dave Barger and Mr Steve Ridgway CBE as non-executive directors and of Mr Andy Stevens, former CEO of Cobham plc, as Chairman on AIM Altitude’s Board, brought their substantial experience and knowledge to the business. AIM Altitude’s UK presence has also been enhanced by the development of a £11m manufacturing facility on the Bournemouth International Airport Aviation Business Park, boosting AIM Altitude’s capacity by 30 per cent and creating jobs across the region, as well as the extension of the Byfleet galley factory, which benefits from an additional 31,000 square feet of state-of-the-art production and testing facilities.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to complete in January 2016