FORT WORTH, Texas, June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Ranger Aerospace, an industry consolidator that specializes in the aviation industry, has acquired Texas Aviation Services, Inc., a rotorcraft services company in Fort Worth, Texas. Texas Aviation Services ("TAS"), with 140,000 square feet of facilities at Meacham Field just north of downtown Fort Worth, is an independent helicopter technical services company with 36 years of successful history. TAS specializes in both civilian and military helicopter completions, retrofits, MRO, avionics systems integration, interiors, paint, component overhaul, and engineering. Originally founded in 1971, TAS performs complex customizing projects on civilian Bell, Eurocopter, Agusta, Sikorsky and other helicopter types, and extensive retrofits on military Blackhawks. The Meacham Airport operations are one of the largest of their type in the Mid-South, with capacity for scores of helicopter projects per year. TAS currently performs roughly 200,000 man hours per year of helicopter services, with ample capacity to increase to twice that level or more.
The seasoned aerospace group, Ranger Aerospace & Aeronautics, Inc., was formed and is led by Steve Townes, a veteran aerospace CEO who has successfully led similar large ventures. Other follow-on acquisitions are planned as the holding company expands its base. Ranger Aerospace has capital backing from Trinity Hunt Partners of Dallas. "Starting with Texas Aviation Services, we're going to build the largest and best independent rotorcraft technical-services company in the South," said Townes, adding, "We've done this before, and we aim to do it again."
In its previous consolidations, Ranger Aerospace has made significant value enhancements in the companies that it operates, driving business development via investments in people initiatives, capital equipment, quality systems, process improvements, and customer service. The Chief Operating Officer of Ranger Aerospace is Brian Nerney, also an experienced veteran of both aerospace and private equity ventures. Nerney said: "Market demographics and competitive dynamics in the Southern US are very attractive for this type of value-oriented strategy, and we feel privileged to be starting with TAS. We will invest in TAS and grow it even more." Dan Dross, managing partner at Trinity Hunt Partners, said, "Trinity Hunt is pleased to partner with Ranger Aerospace and its seasoned team. With strong market indicators for the aerospace industry and rotorcraft services, we look forward to the continued growth of Texas Aviation Services and our partnership with Ranger Aerospace."
Steve Townes said: "Texas Aviation Services is a rapidly growing company, with a solid reputation for high quality, customer performance, and safety. Our objective is to steadily grow TAS as the first element in this new platform company. We will work in partnership with the TAS leadership team to take the company to its next level of competitiveness, while exploring other complementary acquisitions." Townes, a West Point graduate, is a well known aerospace industry entrepreneur who founded Ranger Aerospace in 1997. Ranger's most recent venture was the acquisition and growth of Keystone Helicopter Corporation, where Townes was Chairman and CEO. Keystone was tripled in size and profits under Ranger Aerospace, and later sold in late 2005 for a strategic premium to the Sikorsky division of United Technologies. Prior to Keystone Helicopter, Ranger Aerospace owned and grew Aircraft Service International Group ("ASIG") to over 4,000 employees. ASIG, sold in July 2001 to a British conglomerate, is now one of the largest aviation services companies of its type in the industry, with over 7,500 employees at more than 60 major airports in North America and Europe. In each previous case, most of the value creation occurred through internal improvements and aggressive growth of the initial platform company, combined with complementary acquisitions.
Operating leadership of Texas Aviation Services remains the same, with Tim Woodard in place as the company's long time President. Company officers of TAS all remain in their respective positions. Tim Woodard said: "The Texas Aviation Services management team has grown the company steadily with quality leadership and strong customer service. Our management and employees are all very enthusiastic about the opportunities this investment provides." Mr. Woodard and his father Carl "Woody" Woodard were the principal selling shareholders of Texas Aviation Services, and both are also now stockholders in the new enterprise.
Tim Woodard also said he's excited about the company's prospects for growth now that it has the financial capital and management expertise of Ranger Aerospace behind it. "I see an opportunity to do something that Woody and I never could have done," he said. "I think Ranger Aerospace will do everything in their power to give us the tools to be everything we can be."
Texas Aviation Services recently won the FAA's Diamond Award, a certificate of excellence given for high levels of ongoing training of the technical workforce. TAS customers include major EMS and corporate fleet operators, state and local governments, federal agencies, OEM's, firefighting, news gathering, agricultural, law enforcement agencies, and individual helicopter owners. TAS enjoys a strong reputation with helicopter operators and owners in Latin America. Today TAS has roughly one-third of its efforts on military helicopter retrofit programs, and two-thirds on domesticand international civilian helicopter completions. A growing segment of the business is earmarked for "MRO" (maintenance, repair, and overhauls). Texas Aviation Services operates under an FAA certificate for Repair Station (Part 145) services, plus numerous OEM licenses and authorizations.
John Murphey, the retired Chairman and CEO of Bell Helicopter Textron, is a member of the Board of Directors of Ranger Aerospace & Aeronautics, Inc., and brings more than four decades of helicopter industry experience to the governance of this rotorcraft consolidation. Investors include Trinity Hunt Partners, Ranger Aerospace LLC, Ranger's management, and other private investors. The majority institutional shareholder of Ranger Aerospace & Aeronautics, Inc. is a partnership controlled by Trinity Hunt Partners LP of Dallas, TX.
Trinity Hunt Partners is a Dallas-based, regionally focused private equity firm specializing in leveraged acquisitions, recapitalizations and late-stage growth financings of established middle-market companies with enterprise values between
Ranger Aerospace, with offices in Grapevine, TX, is a privately held investment and management holding company that partners with private equity institutions to acquire and grow companies in aviation services and aerospace support operations. Ranger and its co-investors add value to acquired companies via seasoned veterans experienced in aviation services, aerospace programs, engineering, finance, corporate development, MIS, marketing & strategic planning, Total Quality Management, mergers & acquisitions, post-merger integration, and turnarounds.
Forward Looking Statements: The Company from time to time may discuss forward-looking information. Except for factual historical information, all forward looking statements are estimates by the Company's management and are subject to various risks and uncertainties that are beyond the Company's control and may cause actual results to differ materially from management's expectations.
Additional Information can be found on the web at www.rangeraerospace.comand www.texasaviationservices.com. Previous Ranger Aerospace investments canbe viewed at www.keystonehelicopter.com and www.asig.com.
SOURCE Ranger Aerospace & Aeronautics, Inc.
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