Atlantic Aviation and Ross Aviation Announce Agreement to Combine FBO Networks
CONTRIBUTOR: Atlantic Aviation
KKR and KSL Capital invest in leading national FBO network
Atlantic Aviation and Ross Aviation today announced an agreement to combine to create a leading aviation infrastructure platform with one of the largest networks of fixed base operators (“FBO”) in North America. Upon closing, the combined company will operate as Atlantic Aviation. KKR will be the majority shareholder in the combined company and an affiliate of KSL Capital Partners, LLC (“KSL”), Ross Aviation’s principal shareholder, will join KKR as a significant minority investor in the company.
The combination of Atlantic Aviation and Ross Aviation brings together two leading aviation infrastructure networks with highly complementary geographical footprints and a shared focus on operational excellence and exceptional customer service. Atlantic Aviation and Ross Aviation’s experienced operating teams will come together to drive further investment in critical aviation infrastructure and to strengthen Atlantic Aviation’s position as an industry leader in safety, sustainability, hospitality and technology innovation.
"We’re thrilled to grow Atlantic Aviation with the addition of Ross Aviation’s highly complementary team, culture and network," said Louis T. Pepper, CEO of Atlantic Aviation. "Increased diversification will further position us as a leading operator of aviation infrastructure at a critical moment for our company as we invest in enhancements across our network to better serve our customers. Greater scale also enables us to accelerate our efforts on key priorities, including being at the forefront of technology and sustainability, and creates more opportunities for our employees. We look forward to working with the Ross Aviation leadership team including Jeff Ross, Chairman and long-time friend, as well as CEO, Brian Corbett, to build on the great partnerships they have established at these airfields and the corporate culture they have developed.”
Founded in 2016 by KSL and Jeff Ross, Ross Aviation operates 19 FBOs across the United States and the Caribbean. Through KSL’s investment over the last five years, Ross Aviation has built a strong reputation for customer service and operational excellence with a heavy emphasis on its people and culture. Ross Aviation has a successful record of growth through acquisitions of high-quality FBOs in some of the top leisure and corporate travel markets across North America.
“Today marks a meaningful step forward in the growth of Atlantic Aviation,” said Dash Lane, Partner at KKR. “We are excited to join forces with the Ross Aviation and KSL teams to expand Atlantic’s geographic reach, its focus on customer service, and to further invest in a broader network of aviation operations and infrastructure.”
“KSL and KKR have a successful history of strategic partnership that dates back nearly three decades,” said Dan Rohan, Partner at KSL. “Merging with Atlantic Aviation and investing in the combined business alongside KKR is a natural evolution for Ross Aviation and KSL. We believe the combination of Ross Aviation’s differentiated approach to flight hospitality with Atlantic Aviation’s unparalleled network and customer base will set a new standard for the industry.”
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2022, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Kirkland & Ellis served as legal counsel to Atlantic Aviation and KKR. Jefferies, LLC and Harris Williams served as financial advisors to Ross Aviation and KSL and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett served as legal counsel.