Air-ambulance providers: REVA, Angel Medflight explore sales

Two jet air-ambulance companies are in the midst of sponsor-driven auctions.

Beekman Group-backed REVA Inc is working with Harris Williams on a sales process, while Vistria Group-backed Angel Medflight is exploring a sale via Wells Fargo Securities, Buyouts has learned.

REVA, the world’s largest dedicated provider of fixed-wing air-ambulance services, is projecting roughly $13 million of EBITDA in 2017, two of the sources said. Angel Medflight is being marketed off a similar EBITDA figure, they said.

Both are likely to trade to a sophisticated sponsor that understands both the healthcare and logistics aspects of the businesses, sources said.

The assets may be considered on the small side for the two big industry giants: KKR’s Air Medical Group Holdings and American Securities LLC’s Air Methods, one source noted. Those platforms are also largely concentrated on air medical operations encompassing rotor-wing aircraft, or helicopters, this person noted.

REVA, for its part, has an international model with services offered throughout North America, South America, Central America and Europe. Its company-owned fleet includes 17 fixed-wing, medically equipped aircraft including 13 Learjets.

Financial buyers are compelled by REVA’s entirely in-network model, which ensures that each flight is covered by an insurance provider, one of the sources noted. In other words, REVA knows its costs and what it will be paid ahead of a given flight. That sets REVA apart, as billing and pricing is largely inconsistent throughout many industry providers.

At REVA, there’s an opportunity for PE to fuel growth by simply buying more planes and positioning them worldwide, this source said.

Beekman, the New York PE firm focused on the lower-middle market, made a majority investment in the company, then called Aero Medical International, in March 2012. The entity was formed through the recapitalization and merging of Aero Jet International and Air Ambulance Professionals, an announcement at the time said.

Angel MedFlight, officially Aviation West Charters, provides domestic and international medical-transportation services with a fleet of Learjet aircraft. It also coordinates repatriation services for individuals who need to evacuate to their home countries after experiencing injuries, illness or trauma when abroad.

The most active consolidator in the air-ambulance sector is arguably KKR’s Air Medical Group, which in August agreed to buy the ground-ambulance unit of Envision Healthcare Corp in a $2.4 billion deal. Earlier in the year it bought privately held Air Medical Resource Group, winning a Wells Fargo auction that sources had expected to command north of $700 million in a sale.

The other monster platform is Air Methods, which American Securities took private in a $2.5 billion deal earlier this year.

Representatives of Beekman, REVA, Harris Williams, Vistria, Angel Medflight and Wells Fargo didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

Action Item: Get in touch with John Troiano, Beekman’s managing partner and CEO: jtroiano@thebeekmangroup.com

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