Buyout by Dubai company is official

Aug. 22, 2007
The $1.9 billion acquisition of Standard Aero, Landmark Aviation completed

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, a state-owned company in the United Arab Emirates, on Wednesday announced it has completed its $1.9 billion acquisition of Standard Aero and Landmark Aviation.

A spokesman for Dubai Aerospace Enterprise said the deal, which will merge Standard Aero and Landmark Aviation into its DAE Engineering subsidiary, will have no negative impact on Landmark's jet engine repair facility at Augusta Regional Airport.

"It will be business as usual," spokesman Rich Tauberman said, adding that the facility could see growth under the new ownership.

The 150,000-square-foot repair facility, formerly known as Garrett Aviation, repairs jet aircraft throughout the Southeast and employs 250. It is one of four such company facilities in the U.S.

Landmark Aviation has been owned by Washington-based private investment firm The Carlyle Group since 2004, when it purchased Garrett Aviation from General Electric Co. and combined it with Tempe, Ariz.-based Piedmont Hawthorne Holdings Inc. and Dallas-based Associated Air Center.

Dubai Aerospace was formed last year by the Persian Gulf nation, which is using wealth generated by a three-year rally in crude oil to diversify its economy.

Its acquisition of the U.S. air services companies, announced in April, generated no controversy, unlike Dubai-owned DP World's purchase of terminals at six U.S. ports in 2006. That deal triggered a political furor that resulted in the sale of the port facilities to AIG Global Investment Group.

"The closing of this acquisition is an important step forward in the business and investment relationships between Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and the United States," Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Aerospace, said in a statement.

The combination of Standard Aero and Landmark will create a global aviation services network of 12 primary facilities in the United States, Canada, Europe, Singapore and Australia with an additional 14 regionally located service and support locations.

The combined companies will be run by Paul Soubry Jr., Standard Aero's president and chief operating officer.

As part of the acquisition, Dubai Aerospace will divest the Landmark Aviation Airport Services operation, which includes 33 fixed base operations affiliated businesses.

Reach Damon Cline at (706) 823-3486