West Star Aviation Announces Acquisition by The Sterling Group

March 3, 2022

West Star Aviation has been acquired by The Sterling Group, an operationally-focused middle market private equity firm from the previous investor Norwest Equity Partners (NEP), a leading middle market investment firm.

“Sterling’s employee-focused approach to their business partnerships and their expertise in the general aviation space makes them the perfect fit for West Star,” said Jim Rankin, CEO of West Star Aviation. “As we enter our 75th year, the combined efforts of our experienced employees, our founders and now the Sterling team, will allow West Star to continue to offer the best customer experience in the industry,” Rankin continued.

“We believe that our experience coupled with West Star’s industry-leading customer service capabilities will make us a powerful combination,” said Greg Elliott, Partner at The Sterling Group. “Jim Rankin has built a stellar leadership team, and we are eager to help accelerate their growth plans,” Elliott continued.

“It has been very rewarding to work with Jim, the previous founders, and the entire management team. They’ve built a great culture, and the team knows how to work together to execute on growth initiatives,” stated Todd Solow, NEP Partner. “The entire NEP team wishes West Star well, especially as the company celebrates its 75th anniversary and knows the company is in great hands for future success with Sterling,” Solow continued.

Sterling has deep experience in the business aviation industry, having previously partnered with entrepreneur owners to build Lynx, an FBO Network. Greg Elliott, a Partner at The Sterling Group, has been involved in building several business aviation platforms in the past twenty years, as either Chairman or Board Member of Lynx, Encore, Trajen, and Landmark Aviation.