Ross Aviation, Centre partners acquire Denver Air

 - December 11, 2007, 5:01 AM

Ross Aviation and Centre Partners have announced their entry into the FBO market with the acquisition of Denver Air at Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield, Colo. Ross Aviation was established through a partnership between Centre Partners and the new company’s original principals, Jeff Ross and Greg Ross (no relation), industry veterans with more than 20 years’ experience in ownership and operation of FBOs, including Vail/Beaver Creek Jet Center, Colo.; and in California, Million Air La Quinta at the Desert Resorts Regional Airport; Million Air Palm Springs, Palm Springs International Airport; Newport Jet Center at John Wayne/Orange County Airport; Santa Ana; and Palomar Airport Center, currently under development at McClellan Palomar Airport.

Centre Partners describes itself as a middle-market private-equity firm, with offices in New York and Los Angeles. Centre Partners and its affiliates have invested more than $3 billion of equity capital in more than 80 private equity transactions.

The Ross Aviation investment will be funded through Centre Partners’ fourth fund, which has committed capital of about $780 million. Centre Partners managing partner Bruce Pollack said of the FBO industry, “We recognized an attractive investment opportunity given its solid growth prospects, predictability, strong cash flow attributes and the highly fragmented industry ownership.” Pollack cited Denver Air’s role as an “established operation with significant volume, dominant market share, excellent facilities and long-term lease arrangement.”

Denver Air offers more than 50,000 sq ft of heated hangar space in a modern facility next to the Interlocken Technology Park, and less than 20 minutes from both downtown Denver and Boulder. Ross Aviation president and CEO Jeff Ross said, “Ross Aviation is actively looking to acquire independently owned FBOs and wholly owned portfolios located in areas with attractive demographics and significant growth opportunities. Our goal is to become a major industry player.”