DAE plans to stay in MRO business

 - March 31, 2008, 11:12 AM

DAE Engineering and Manufacturing is in the maintenance business for the long haul, CEO Rob Mionis told AIN. “We realize a lot has transpired in the past eight months and we’d like to clarify DAE’s position. Our strategy is to find high-quality assets so we can grow through acquisitions and as a result of internal growth.”

The DAE plan includes six businesses under the direction of CEO Bob Johnson. They are engineering (the MRO operation), headed up by Mionis; aerospace manufacturing, also under Mionis; aerospace education and training, under Dr. George Ebbs; airport development and operations, under interim CEO Bob Johnson; aircraft leasing, under Bob Genise; and other aerospace services, under Dr. Kamilia Sofia.

Mionis expressed concern that the company’s selling off Landmark Aviation’s Airport Services division gave the impression DAE was focused on short-term profit. Its recent sale to GTCR, the operators of the Encore FBO chain, consisted of 34 FBOs.
“Selling Airport Services was part of our original strategy. Our goal has always been to focus on the maintenance, repair and overhaul business,” Mionis said. “The Standard Aero and Landmark MRO operations were exactly what we were looking for, but the FBO operations were never part of our business plan.”

The company has been evolving since 2004, when The Carlyle Group bought Garrett and combined it with Piedmont-Hawthorne to form Landmark. In August 2007 DAE bought Landmark and Standard Aero for $1.9 billion.

When DAE bought Landmark Aviation its MROs consisted of Augusta, Ga.; Springfield, Ill.; Houston; Los Angeles; and Associated Air Center (AAC) in Dallas. They brought a long history of TFE731, TPE331 and CFE738 experience into the fold as well as air transport VIP completion and refurb experience with AAC.

The Standard Aero acquisition included Winnipeg; Cincinnati; Maryville, Tenn.; and San Antonio in the U.S., and international operations in Tilburg, Netherlands; Singapore and Sydney. It rounded out the picture with expertise in Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, GE and Snecma and significant experience in component and accessory repair in Cincinnati.

“Recognizing the acquisitions brought together different corporate cultures, we brought in Michele Grisez as senior vice president of human resources specifically to massage the cultures together. She worked with a committee made up of employees from both Standard Aero and Landmark to guide us in a smooth transition,” said Paul Soubry, president and CEO of Standard Aero.