French aviation fund Ace Aero Partenaires closes on EUR630m

Passenger jet taxiing

Pan-European asset manager Tikehau Capital’s subsidiary Ace Management has held a EUR630 million first close of Ace Aero Partenaires, a fund focused on helping companies in the aviation industry that have been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The initiative was first announced last June by Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economy, Finance and Recovery in France. Airbus, Safran, Thales and Dassault Aviation launched a call for tenders and selected the Tikehau fund and its subsidiary ACE in order to form the fund.

Contributions from the French government, main contractors and Tikehau Capital, the fund manager, will enable the fund to count on an initial amount of EUR630 million, which is higher than the EUR500 million originally planned. The intention is to reach a fund raise of EUR1 billion in total.

The ACE Aero Partenaires fund is viewed by the involved parties as a key lever to support SMEs and mid-caps in the civil aviation industry that have been negatively affected by the economic crisis resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dassault Aviation will contribute EUR13 million to the creation of the ACE Aero Partenaires fund. “This success demonstrates the strategic nature of civil aeronautics in terms of employment, technology and foreign trade. Such a commitment, which is set to grow with the contribution of other investors, will effectively help the exceptional French aerospace supply chain, which is the basis of our industry,” says Eric Trappier, chairman & CEO of Dassault Aviation.

“It is about supporting the most fragile companies, preserving skills, encouraging digital modernisation and environmental transition. The solidarity and cohesion of our ecosystem have been exemplary for more than a century. Dassault Aviation is proud to be part of this tradition, which is one of the foundations of the dynamism of the aeronautics industry in our country,” he added.