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Elaïs Capital invests in Sunaero

Elaïs Capital has acquired a minority stake in Sunaero, a French provider of fast testing and repair services for aircrafts. No financial terms were disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE

Paris, 14 September 2016– Elaïs Capital announces the completion of its third deal with a significant minority equity investment in Sunaero. In this primary transaction, a dedicated private equity fund managed by Elaïs Capital on behalf of 15 families becomes the main shareholder of Sunaero alongside its founders Bruno Comoglio, Laurent Dumortier and Thierry Regond. As a result of this transaction, Sunaero has secured an additional equity line to finance its growth (including acquisitions), and several senior managers will become shareholders of the Group.

The Group arises from the 2005 merger of Helitest, a provider of trace gas leak testing technology for aircrafts founded in 1992 by Laurent Dumortier, and Sunaero, a provider of fast sealant polymerization technology founded in 1996 by Bruno Comoglio. Prior to the merger, in 2001 the two companies had already created Aerowing, a joint US distribution company based in Nashville, TN. In 2008, Aerowing opened its own R&D center and set up a production site to better serve the US market. In 2013, the Group opened a distribution subsidiary and a fuel leak and composite repair facility in Malaysia, near Singapore. In 2016, Sunaero Asia received a DCAM PART 145 certificate. The Group is now established in 30 countries with three subsidiaries and 27 agents backed up by an international team of engineers and sales reps.

Sunaero is the world leading provider of fast testing and repair solutions for aircrafts. Its product and service range offers unrivalled downtime reductions and financial savings in AOG (Aircraft on Ground) situations as well as in scheduled maintenance.

Sunaero’s range of fast testing and repair solutions and emergency response services has been included in maintenance manuals of the main aircraft OEMs. It has been approved by the leading NATO air forces and fully complies with ATEX, UL-CSA and ICEX standards. It includes:

– Leak testing systems using helium and/or hydrogen as trace gas;

– Sealant fast curing systems;

– Fast polymerization systems;

– Wing control systems using tracer gas instead of kerosene or fuel substitutes.

Over the years, Sunaero has developed new applications including a complete range of solutions for helicopters. Its technologies are currently used in fast leak testing and repair of fuel tanks, oxygen and cabin air conditioning circuits, and sealant or composite fast polymerization.

With its global reach, Sunaero will serve a world fleet of 90.000 commercial aircrafts, business jets and civil helicopters, alongside 72.000 military jets.

Sunaero solutions and services offer major benefits to its customers:

– Commercial airlines significantly increase the flying time of their fleet;

– Business jet operators may guarantee a first class service to their demanding customers;

– Large maintenance operators secure their delivery dates;

– Military operators improve significantly the operational availability of their aircrafts.

Following the Elaïs investment, the Group will accelerate its development through organic growth and acquisitions in America as well as in Asia and Europe. In Asia, the Group is planning to strengthen its position in China and to establish a foothold in Australia.

Bruno Comoglio, CEO of Sunaero declared: “We are delighted to welcome Elaïs as a financial partner who will help us to execute efficiently our ambitious development plan globally. They clearly have made a difference in the way they understand the opportunities and challenges of a fast growth midmarket company such as Sunaero.”

Thibaut de Chassey, Managing Partner of Elaïs Capital, added: “The group founded by Bruno Comoglio, Laurent Dumortier and Thierry Regond fits perfectly with our strategy of investing in growing private French midmarket companies. Sunaero is the global leader in its market, with innovative technologies and exceptional growth prospects. We are delighted to support this group which benefits from such a strong recognition in its industry. ”

About Elaïs Capital:
Elaïs Capital is the French private equity specialist dedicated to family investors. It has developed a unique private equity investment offering serving a client base of fifteen families sharing the same values: a passion for entrepreneurship, respect of the people, proximity with management teams, a long term vision of investment and strong business ethics. Elaïs Capital invests in MBO or growth capital transactions with enterprise values from €20 to €100 million, offering to managers a different working relationships to accelerate their development plans in France and abroad. In addition, companies sponsored by its team created 16 subsidiaries abroad, including in China, Denmark, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States and Turkey.