EBITDA stands for “earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.” In the acquisition world, businesses are valued by a multiple of their EBITDA. The buzz lately is that FBOs are popular among some aggressive private equity funds, and that has led to sales on the order of eight or nine times EBITDA–a rising trend that many say cannot continue.
Airports, Heliports and FBOs » FBOs
New developments at FBOs including regulations and noise issues; legal disputes; openings, acquisitions and mergers.
Jet Aviation, the aviation services company founded in Switzerland in 1967, was recently singled out for a prestigious safety award by its insurer, AIG Aviation of Atlanta. The company’s European aircraft management and charter divisions received AIG’s Operational Excellence Award for 2003.
The FBO that Jet Aviation announced last August would open early this year at Kuwait International Airport has been delayed more than a year. Jet Aviation now says construction of the three-story, 13,000-sq-ft executive terminal will begin next month and be operational by the end of next year. “We were planning the construction of the FBO in two phases to allow aircraft handling services in early 2005,” said a spokesman.
The new business aviation enclave at Dubai International Airport (DXB) is taking shape, and the first facilities were due to open by the end of last month. A new VIP terminal, to be run by the airport’s own Executive Flight Services (EFS), is due to open by year-end. Three independent service companies–Jet Aviation, ExecuJet Aviation and Wallan Aviation–will have adjoining hangars and offices at the airport.
San Juan, Puerto Rico, has joined the Million Air family, bringing to 29 the total number of FBOs housed under the Million Air chain. Located at Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport (TJIG), the new FBO comprises a 5,600-sq-ft passenger facility and 14,000-sq-ft hangar. Construction is scheduled for completion in mid-month, and the official opening date is slated for May 1.
Effective March 15, Signature Flight Support increased handling fees at its chain of more than 40 U.S. FBO locations. Signature said, “Customers who purchase two or more times the specified minimum fuel volume for their aircraft type at any U.S. Signature location will receive a 100-percent waiver of handling fees at all other U.S. Signature FBOs visited on the same day of their fuel purchase.”
Construction is complete on a new terminal at Guardian Jet Center at Ontario International Airport, Calif.
Signature Flight Support has bought the Harrods Aviation FBO at London Heathrow Airport. Just three months ago, Signature acquired the airport’s only other business aircraft handling operation with the purchase of Executive Aircraft Services. Signature will consolidate the two Heathrow operations in the former Harrods Aviation premises. Meanwhile, Harrods is retaining its larger operations at London’s Stansted and Luton Airports.
A source close to the Mercury Air Centers division of Mercury Air Group told AIN at press time that plans to sell the division to Washington, D.C.-based Allied Capital are moving forward. With due diligence ongoing, the target date for closing the $70 million deal is the end of this month. Mercury Air Centers, one of four divisions of Mercury Air Group, operates 19 FBOs nationwide.
Vail Valley Jet Center at Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE), Colo., now has customs, immigration and agricultural inspection services available on site and has upgraded its passenger terminal with wireless Internet access. The FBO has also added scheduled and as-needed maintenance capability, now serving as host to a satellite shop operated by Denver Centennial Airport-based Haggan Aviation.