In February 2016, BBA Aviation acquired Landmark Aviation for $2.1 billion, culminating a successful, 10 year investment for Platform Partners in Landmark. This acquisition represented a major expansion of Signature Flight Support (Signature), a BBA Aviation company, and the world’s largest FBO network.
At exit, Landmark owned and operated 75 FBOs that were complementary to Signature’s existing network of 133 wholly owned and affiliate global locations. Landmark’s aircraft maintenance locations supplemented Signature’s existing MRO operations delivered through its Signature TECHNICAir and CSE Citation Centre brands. Landmark’s aircraft management and charter fleet numbered over 110 aircraft at time of exit.
Dan Bucaro, President and Chief Executive Officer of Landmark, said, “We are very appreciative of the strong relationships we have developed over the years with airport sponsors, customers, and vendors. We are confident that the success we have achieved at Landmark will carry forward under BBA Aviation’s ownership. Looking back, we are especially appreciative of the role Platform Partners played in backing our team at the outset and ultimately building Landmark into one of the largest FBO operators in the nation.”
Through Platform’s ten year involvement and in partnership with The Carlyle Group, we helped arrange over $1 billion in equity and debt financing to execute a successful buy & build strategy. The sale to BBA represented an attractive return for Platform as Dan Bucaro and his team were able to build a business from a start-up back in 2006 to a company generating approximately $170 million of EBITDA.
Fred Brazelton, Platform’s CEO and President, said, “We want to thank Dan and his entire organization for their commitment to building Landmark from a start-up to one of the industry leaders in the FBO industry with a valuation in excess of $2 billion. We certainly had our challenges at Landmark, including navigating the 2008 financial crisis, but Dan and team did an incredible job positioning the company to thrive as the industry rebounded. The management team is simply one of the best we have ever worked with. We also thoroughly enjoyed working with The Carlyle Group during the last three years of our Landmark investment. Carlyle added significant financial and operational value and we appreciate their partnership.”
Morgan Stanley & Co. and Evercore Group acted as financial advisors to Landmark in connection with the transaction. Latham & Watkins, Jones Day and Zuckert, Scoutt & Rasenberger served as legal advisors to Landmark, Carlyle and Platform on the transaction.