The fixed-base operator (FBO) at St. Augustine’s Northeast Florida Regional Airport is getting a new owner, but any changes that causes are yet to be determined.
Galaxy Aviation currently runs the FBO in St. Augustine, but four of its locations in Florida — and five overall — are being purchased by Atlantic Aviation.
The Atlantic website announced the deal, saying: “Atlantic enters into agreement to purchase 5 Galaxy locations: PBI, MCO, SGJ, SUA and HDN.” St. Augustine’s code is SGJ.
Airport Executive Director Edward Wuellner said no one from the new ownership group has asked the airport for anything different from what is in the current lease with Galaxy. He said that lease has about 12 years remaining with a further 10-year option.
The sale is expected to be completed in 60 to 90 days, Wuellner added.
Galaxy is the only FBO at the St. Augustine airport, which is one of the reasons the acquisition could be considered attractive. An FBO is a service provider that acts in the same manner as a concierge. It will set up car rentals, make hotel reservations, rent hangar space, provide fuel and perform other duties, mostly for jet traffic.
The St. Augustine Galaxy website says its FBO is “more conveniently located to the upscale suburbs of Jacksonville than Jacksonville International Airport. As a result, we often handle more transient jet traffic than all the FBOs at Jacksonville combined.”
There are about 15 full-time employees at the St. Augustine FBO. A call for comment on the pending sale was referred to a Galaxy office in South Florida. A message there was not returned Tuesday afternoon.
Atlantic Aviation, which is owned by Macquarie Infrastructure Company, is making its first foray into the Florida market.
According to a story that was released Dec. 12 on the MIC website, the deal will total $195 million.
“The acquisition of the Galaxy Aviation FBOs adds high-quality facilities in the strategically important Florida market,” Macquarie Infrastructure Company CEO James Hooke said in the story. “In addition to creating an immediate, substantial presence for Atlantic Aviation in the Florida marketplace, it is expected to provide MIC with an increase in proportionately combined free cash flow.”
Hooke went on to say that acquiring FBOs with favorable lease agreements was among the benefits of the deal.
“In addition to attractive, up-to-date facilities, the approximately 25-year average remaining lease life of the acquired FBOs will increase the combined remaining lease life at Atlantic Aviation to more than 20 years,” Hooke said. “The long average lease life provides us with good visibility into the cash generating capacity of the business.”
Wuellner said that because Atlantic is bound by the same lease as Galaxy, there is nothing for the board to approve at this time.
However, if the company wants to alter any of the terms, then it would come before the board.
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