Encore, GTCR Get a Landmark Deal

 - December 14, 2007, 11:39 AM

Encore FBO and private-equity firm GTCR Golder Rauner announced late yesterday that they entered a joint definitive agreement to acquire Landmark Aviation’s FBOs from DAE (Dubai Aerospace Enterprise) Aviation Holdings. The transaction is for $436 million, “subject to adjustment as provided in the purchase agreement,” according to a disclosure filed publicly by DAE yesterday. According to Encore and GTCR, the acquisition includes all of Landmark’s 34 FBOs and its related charter, aircraft sales and maintenance parts assets, but not the MRO division or Dallas Love Field-based completion firm Associated Air Center.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year and will greatly bolster Encore’s chain of eight FBOs and two charter bases. No “massive changes” are planned for employees or management, though the combined company will be led by new CEO Dan Bucaro, the current president and CEO of Encore FBO.

According to Encore FBO executive vice president Donald Prescott, the Landmark and Encore FBO networks will form a single organization, “under the dominant Landmark Aviation brand name,” of 42 FBOs across North America and Western Europe. Prescott told AIN that the strategy of the combined companies will remain the same: “to meet customers’ needs and provide value to customers.”

The combined Encore and Landmark FBO chain and charter and aircraft sales businesses will retain the Landmark brand name, raising the question of what DAE will call the Landmark MRO business. DAE bought the assets of Landmark Aviation, as well as Standard Aero, from The Carlyle Group in August for $1.9 billion. AIN has learned that the MRO businesses will be rebranded under the Standard Aero name, after the sale of the FBOs, charter and sales operations closes early next year.