Will A PE Firm Fly Away with Air Medical?

Another day, another healthcare deal. But this time I also get to write about helicopters.

Brockway Moran & Partners and MVP Ventures have put Air Medical Group up for sale, sources say. Air Medical, which flies people in need of critical care to hospitals or medical centers, is a combination of several companies that the PE firms began buying in 2004.

Buyout shops are mainly vying for Air Medical, with Bloomberg reporting that Bain Capital and Warburg Pincus are among the bidders. Barclays Capital and Moelis & Co. are advising on the auction.

Air Medical will likely go to a financial buyer because it is not a strategically vital asset, one banker said. The company has been up for sale since early this year. In the spring, the auction was held up for two to three months for unknown reasons and then got back on track by June.

Brockway Moran and MVP are seeking $1 billion for Air Medical. “That would be a very full price for it,” the source said.

MVP, of Radnor, Pa., targets the lower middle market. Boca Raton, Fla.-based Brockway Moran manages $1.3 billion of capital. It is unclear how much of Air Medical either firm owns.

To form Air Medical, Brockway Moran and MVP bought Air Evac Lifeteam in July 2004 via a recapitalization. Air Evac has a fleet of 100 medically-equipped Bell 206 Long Ranger helicopters. The company targets rural markets like Indiana, Kentucky and Texas.

In June 2006, Brockway Moran and MVP Ventures bought TJ Holdings, which owned Med-Trans Corp. and Executive Air Taxi Corp. Med-Trans, of Dallas, provides air ambulance services through its fleet of 28 Bell 407 and EC 135 helicopters. The flight crews consist of critical care nurses and specially trained flight paramedics.  Med-Trans operates in eight states, including Arizona, California, Tennessee and South Carolina. Executive Air Taxi provides aircraft maintenance, parts, rentals, as well as personal and business charters.

Lastly, EagleMed, of Wichita, Kansas, was acquired in July 2009. EagleMed also provides critical care transport via 12 Eurocopter helicopters 6 Hawker Beechcraft King Air plans. EagleMed targets the central U.S.

Officials for Brockway and MVP could not be reached for comment.