Sterling Partners, a private-equity firm, has purchased Tulsa, Okla.-based pilot and maintenance technician training school Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology. Sterling Partners also owns Desert NDT, a non-destructive testing services provider to the oil and gas industry. In addition to pilots and aircraft technicians, Spartan trains NDT technicians. Spartan grants bachelor’s degrees and has graduated about 90,000 students since it was founded in 1928.
Spartan majority owners John Walker, Blaine Walker and Justin Walker sold the college to Sterling Partners for an undisclosed amount, which was financed by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. CEO Jeremy Gibson, who owns a portion of Spartan, will continue in his role.
“Spartan students get great jobs, and there will be a significant shortage of aviation technicians, pilots and nondestructive testing professionals in this country and abroad,” said Sterling principal Jason Rosenberg. “Spartan stands uniquely qualified to help meet the needs of the industry by continuing to produce skilled graduates. We look forward to partnering with Spartan CEO Jeremy Gibson to continue to build Spartan and help meet the growing needs of the industry.”