Lincolnshire Management has acquired two aviation training companies: Sanford, Fla.-based Delta Connection Academy Inc. and Burnsville, Minn.-based Aerosim Technologies. No financial terms were disclosed. The two companies will operate under a common holdco named Flight Training Acquisitions LLC.
In a move to create a premier global provider of aviation training services and technology, private equity firm Lincolnshire Management, Inc. today announced that it has completed the acquisition of two leaders in aviation training — Delta Connection Academy, Inc. and Aerosim Technologies, Inc. The two companies will operate under a holding company, Flight Training Acquisitions LLC, and will provide a comprehensive solution to produce first-class pilots and meet the high training and safety standards of the airline industry and regulatory agencies worldwide. Delta Airlines, Inc. is a shareholder in the business, and Global Technology Investment Group, Inc. is a co-investor. This is the first investment for the $835 million Lincolnshire Equity Fund IV. Terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.
With Aerosim’s cutting-edge high-fidelity training technologies and Delta Connection Academy’s industry-leading curriculum and training facilities, the organizations will leverage a comprehensive suite of training programs and systems to deliver highly skilled, safety-focused pilots who have been prepared specifically for success in the demanding environment of flight operations throughout the world. The combined Company will reach approximately $40 million of sales in 2010.
Allan Weinstein, Managing Director of Lincolnshire Management, says: “We are very excited to combine these two outstanding companies and their management teams. Aerosim Technologies and Delta Connection Academy are well-established leaders in their respective spaces that complement each other in order to offer a comprehensive solution for the aviation industry to serve the long-term demand for pilots.” He continues noting: “We hope and expect to develop the premier global aviation training provider and supplier.”
Dave Rapley, who will serve as CEO of the combined company, agrees: “Airlines are increasingly challenged to find ways to save money on pilot training, yet the market absolutely demands that they cannot sacrifice quality in their training program. This merger will establish a next-generation partner that will be capable of offering highly customized training solutions with a reputation for excellence.” Regarding pilot demand, Rapley states: “Delta Connection Academy graduates are absolute top of the line pilots. We will continue to enhance that record to provide operators with pilots they know they can rely on as their needs increase.”
Jonathan Schulhof, a partner at GTI speaks to international expansion noting: “Based on experience with our current aviation interests in the Asian market, we saw a clear opportunity for a strong training service and product offering. The combined Aerosim and Delta Connection Academy offering is just the first step in an intensive expansion effort in this region.”
Michael Lee, a Director at Lincolnshire Management, adds: “Aerosim’s training devices offer a cost-efficient solution to airlines faced with ever-present capital constraints, but their technology can also improve the overall quality of their training programs. We are also extremely pleased to maintain an ongoing partnership with Delta Air Lines, Inc., the world’s largest airline, and Delta Connection Academy has established a long track record of graduating outstanding pilots who go on to fly for leading airlines throughout the world.”
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About Aerosim Technologies, Inc. (www.aerosim.com)
Aerosim Technologies is the recognized leader in low cost, high-fidelity simulation-based training products within the aviation industry and has over 16 years of experience working with over 100 commercial airlines. Founded in 1993, Aerosim offers a wide-ranging portfolio of pilot and maintenance technician training tools for distance learning, ground school, and flight training. These solutions are both portable and flexible and have been utilized in classroom and computer lab environments, and on distance learning platforms. Aerosim products are used around the world by aircraft manufacturers, commercial airlines, flight training centers, universities and the military.
About Delta Connection Academy, Inc. (www.deltaconnectionacademy.com)
Delta Connection Academy has been training the industry’s best pilots for over 20 years and operates a fleet of 73 aircraft and has trained students from 90 different countries and placed pilots with over 30 airlines. In addition to its main campus located at the Orlando/Sanford International Airport, the Academy is the flight-training provider for three colleges and universities across the U.S. and has a combined total enrollment of more than 550 flight students. The Academy has been recognized for its professional, highly structured airline oriented flight training and an award winning safety program. As a result, graduates of the Academy are sought after by many of the industry’s premier regional carriers.
About Lincolnshire Management, Inc. (www.lincolnshiremgmt.com)
Lincolnshire Management is a leading private equity firm focused on generating superior returns for investors by acquiring and growing middle market companies across a wide range of industries. Founded in 1986, Lincolnshire currently has approximately $1.7 billion in capital under management for private equity investments, including the $835 million Lincolnshire Equity Fund IV. Lincolnshire has created significant value through more than 55 acquisitions, including private equity investments in such leading middle market companies as Amports, Bankruptcy Management Solutions, Prince Sports, Riddell Sports, American Coach Lines, Transcraft Corporation and Excelsior Radio Networks. Headquartered in New York, Lincolnshire has offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles as well as thorough deal representation in Asia and Europe, seeking value-focused opportunities wherever they may be found.
About Global Technology Investment Group, Inc. (www.gti-llc.com)
Global Technology Investment Group is a New York-based private investment firm with a simple thesis driven process: Identify large market trends, create or invest in market leaders, build and operate companies with hands-on influence and attract top tier investors, strategic partners and talent. GTI works with corporate partners, management teams and entrepreneurs to build world-class companies, investing in venture capital, growth equity and lower middle market leveraged buyout opportunities. The company is currently active in a variety of sectors including Aviation, Healthcare, Energy Services, Media and Online and Client Technology.