Signature Flight Support announced November 2 a single purchase involving two FBOs: Long Beach Million Air and another at Oxnard Airport near Santa Barbara. The facility at Oxnard will serve as a reliever to Signature’s busy operation at Santa Barbara Municipal Airport.
Less than a week later, Signature announced it had reached an agreement to purchase the assets of Million Air La Quinta at Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Riverside County, Calif. Final approvals and closing were expected to be completed last month. The airport nd FBO are located within Riverside County’s Coachella Valley, known as the Desert Resorts Region, and are ideally positioned to serve travelers to spas, resorts and professional golf, tennis and equestrian venues frequently hosted in Palm Springs and the surrounding communities.
These acquisitions bring the number of FBOs in Signature’s U.S. network to 46 as well as 19 in Europe and one in Africa. Signature also has 13 joint-venture FBO sites in Brazil and one in Hong Kong.
Bruce Van Allen, president and CEO for Signature parent company BBA Aviation Services Group, told AIN the company continues on the acquisition trail, despite intense interest from private equity firms driving up selling prices of FBOs nationwide. He said, “There are still good acquisitions out there, if you know what you’re doing and where to look.” Van Allen added that Signature has purchased eight new FBOs worldwide over the past 12 months and expects to continue to aggressively expand the network in the near term.
On the same day as the announcement of the Long Beach/Oxnard acquisition, Dow Jones reported that Signature’s and BBA Aviation Services’ parent company, UK-based BBA Group, had spun off its Fiberweb unit for a reported $1.3 billion. The Dow Jones report said the Fiberweb sale “would leave BBA with headroom to reinvest into further aviation expansion, by acquisition or investment.” One industry observer noted, “$1.3 billion equals a lot of FBOs.” BBA Group is a publicly held corporation traded on the London stock exchange. Besides Signature Flight Support, BBA Aviation Services Group subsidiaries also include ASIG, Dallas Airmotive, Premier Turbines, International Turbine Service, Barrett Turbine Engine Company and H+S Aviation.