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.