Bain Capital among those banking on aviation; TSCP invests in decision intelligence tech

PE bets on aviation in this post-pandemic world.

Good morning dealmakers, thank goodness it’s Friday!

It’s Obey Martin Manayiti here with the Wire.

There is another round of air pollution in New York and other parts of North America this morning because of the wildfires in Canada. Hopefully this will clear up as we start the weekend, but it reminded me of a story that I did recently about Ardian’s investment in the Tom Barrow Company, a commercial HVAC business with emphasis on maintaining good air quality.

In other news, we are capping off the week with a look at six aviation private equity-backed deals benefiting from the recovery of travel after the pandemic.

But let’s start with a deal announced this morning.

Smarter, faster decisions
Gurobi Optimization, a portfolio company of the St. Louis Thompson Street Capital Partners, acquired October Sky, a Japan-based provider of mathematical optimization services.

Gurobi Optimization is a provider of decision intelligence technology. Duke Perrucci, the company CEO said acquiring October Sky is a key step in Gurobi’s commitment to helping customers “make smarter, faster decisions with our industry-leading decision intelligence technology.”

“The deep expertise and skill of the October Sky team represents a unique opportunity for Gurobi to expand its presence in Japan and reach both customers and users more directly,” said TSCP managing director Craig Albrecht.

Flying high
The aviation market has almost bounced back following the pandemic-induced hiatus. PE firms are also picking up opportunities, banking on the attractive sector tailwinds in services such as maintenance and repair, upgrades, aftermarket equipment and more.
In June alone, PE Hub noted three deals from Bain Capital Special Situations, New State Capital Partners and AE Industrial Partners. I have them all in the story, along with three other deals announced earlier in the year.

Here are two deals from the story:
Boston-based Bain Capital Special Situations invested in KP Aviation, a Mesa, Arizona supplier of essential aftermarket materials and services for the aviation industry earlier this month.

With a global footprint that includes Europe, Africa and Asia, the company says it serves more than 4,000 airlines, aircraft maintenance companies, investment and leasing firms, and aviation aftermarket suppliers across the world.

“We have been active across the entire aviation ecosystem for decades,” Matthew Evans, a partner at Bain Capital Special Situations told PE Hub.

Across its aviation investments, Bain Capital Special Situations said it seeks to partner with people whom the firm views as industry leaders.

On what’s driving the firm’s interest, Evans sites “the very attractive long-term secularly growing space driven by continued post-covid recovery and build-rate increases coupled with record aftermarket demand.”

AE Industrial Partners, a Boca Raton, Florida-headquartered firm, acquired a majority stake in Yingling Aviation, a Wichita, Kansas-based provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and fixed-base operator (FBO) services to business aviation and government customers.

Founded in 1945, Yingling Aviation is located at Wichita’s Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport. The company’s MRO services include airframe, engine, avionics upgrades, paint, interior, propeller sales and service, among others.

Pride Month
Meanwhile, my PE Hub Europe colleague Nina Lindholm did a series featuring members of the LGBTQ+ community in private equity.

Today, we’re featuring Nina’s interview with Rob Heyvaert, the founder and managing partner of New York-headquartered Motive Partners, Hamilton Lane’s Ada Pospi and Inovia Capital’s Michael McGraw.

Heyvaert told Nina that the private equity industry still has a long way to go for LGBTQ+ people to truly feel welcome and comfortable. One way to tackle this is to challenge individual behaviour. “Do some people still make ridiculous jokes in the workplace? Probably. We have to fight that more than anything,” Heyvaert told Nina.

For more Pride Month stories, see interviews with Inovia Capital’s Michael McGraw and Hamilton Lane’s Ada Pospi.

That’s it for me today.

PE Hub editor-in-chief MK Flynn will be back with the newsletter on Monday.

Have a nice weekend.