PE Firm KKR Buying Atlantic Aviation for Nearly $4.5B

 - June 7, 2021, 11:44 AM
The second major FBO chain to be sold since the beginning of the year, Atlantic Aviation's 69-location-strong network will be acquired by private equity firm KKR in a deal worth approximately $4.5 billion.

U.S.-based private equity company KKR today announced that it is acquiring Atlantic Aviation, an FBO chain with 69 U.S. locations, from Macquarie Infrastructure Corporation (MIC) for nearly $4.5 billion. The deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, comes on the heels of the sale of Signature Aviation, the world's largest FBO chain, to private-equity firms Blackstone, GIP, and Cascade for $4.7 billion.

MIC is selling its Atlantic Aviation business to KKR for $4.475 billion in cash and assumed debt and reorganization obligations. Overall, MIC expects to receive $3.525 billion at closing. MIC purchased Atlantic Aviation and its 10 FBOs in 2004 for a reported $238 million.

MIC had initially placed Atlantic on the market some months ago, but those efforts were shelved amid the global Covid pandemic. One industry expert noted that in the absence of the pandemic, the Atlantic sale would have concluded long before the Signature Aviation deal transacted and that, in the end, MIC benefitted financially from the interest surrounding the Signature sale.

“We are proud of the robust growth Atlantic Aviation has achieved under our ownership, which resulted in strong interest from prospective buyers during the sale process,” said MIC CEO Christopher Frost. “We are pleased with the outcome of the sale process and the unlocking of additional value for MIC shareholders.”

Atlantic Aviation CEO Lou Pepper told AIN that “KKR's focus on providing long term capital combined with our existing platform for growth will allow Atlantic to expand into key areas and to meet our customers’ needs now and into the future.”