KKR Takes Minority Stake in Helicopter Company

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S Private Equity Group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) said on Wednesday it had entered into a partnership with Investindustrial to take a minority stake in helicopter firm Grupo Inaer.

The transaction, which was handled by JPMorgan and Credit Suisse, follows a series of so-called “secondary buyouts” in Europe, where private equity firms sell each other portfolio companies.

Under the terms of the deal KKR will take a minority stake of 49.9 percent, while Spanish-based Inaer’s current owners, the Southern European private equity firm Investindustrial, will retain a 50.1 percent majority stake.

KKR said the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, had an enterprise value consideration of 700 million euros ($932.3 million).

Inaer operates fleets of helicopters and aeroplanes, aiding in medical emergencies, forest fire-fighting, and maritime salvage. It also has operations in Britain, Chile, France, Italy and Portugal.

Investindustrial’s Chairman Andrea Bonomi said in a statement the partnership with KKR would help drive Inaer’s long-term growth.

“Inaer has an important period ahead of it as it operates in a highly fragmented market with long-term growth underpinned by increased outsourcing and security standards,” Bonomi said.

“KKR’s global expertise and long-term vision to support the growth of Inaer make them an ideal partner and we look forward to working with them in this next phase of development.”

Inaer has earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of about 75 million euros.

Investindustrial bought a 75 percent stake in predecessor company Inaer Inversiones Aereas SRL for 205 million euros in July 2005, according to Thomson Reuters data.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Bernard Orr)