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GED invests in AIRE

Spanish lower mid-market firm GED Capital has made the first investment from its new fund GED VI España with the acquisition of a majority stake in Aircraft Interior Refurbishment España (AIRE), a Company specialised in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft cabin interiors.

AIRE was founded in February 2000 as an independent Company. Its portfolio of services currently includes the maintenance of seats, galley elements, stowages and panels, the modification and reconditioning of cabins, the manufacture of covers, carpets and adhesive labels and also the certification of modifications to aircraft cabins and its components. AIRE’s clients include aviation companies such as Airbus, Air Europa, Wamos and Vueling.
AIRE is one of the few companies in the world that have been certified by EASA as Part 145 rating C6, Part 21G and Part 21J, allowing the company to be present during the full life cycle of aircrafts (design and production of pieces, maintenance and reconfiguration of cabins, delivery and devolution of aircrafts and dismantling).
With annual sales of 14 million euros in 2018 and bases in Madrid and Palma de Mallorca, AIRE currently has a workforce of 120 employees. The investment of GED will strengthen the financial capacity of AIRE with the aim of supporting its international expansion in Latin America, an emerging market where a significant increase in air traffic is expected in the coming years.
Following the transaction, the current shareholders of AIRE will continue to be involved in the future development of the company and, in addition, will maintain their current managerial positions in order to take advantage of their extensive knowledge of the sector and their capacity to generate new business.
“There are strong trends in the aeronautical sector that support the rationale of our investment in AIRE, such as the positive growth prospect of air traffic and the consequent increase in the number of aircrafts both in Europe and Latin America,” says Enrique Centelles Satrústegui, Managing Partner of GED.
“Other underlying factors that will contribute to the development of the company are the increase in the popularity of low-cost airlines and strong trends towards outsourcing of services on the part of large airlines as well as towards the customization of aircraft cabins,” adds Enrique Centelles Satrústegui.
For their part, the founders of AIRE Carmelo Porras and José Luis Mamolar say: “The entrance of GED represents a unique opportunity to continue with the growth story that AIRE has experienced during recent years. GED’s industrial and entrepreneurial approach as well as its knowledge and experience in the aeronautical sector have been decisive for us to opt for GED as a partner in this new stage of growth and consolidation of AIRE”.
The investment in AIRE is the first deal from the GED VI España fund, the latest private equity vehicle of GED, which made a 100 million first closing at the end of March, just a few weeks after it was registered with the National Securities Commission (CNMV).
Investors in the fund include insurance companies, mutual funds and family offices. All the LPs in the first closing had previously invested in the predecessor vehicle of the firm. GED VI España will continue with the same strategy as its predecessor, deploying equity tickets of between EUR15m and EUR20m in companies with an EBITDA of EUR3m to EUR7m.
With a target size of 175 million euros, the fund expects to make between 8 and 10 investments in medium-sized industrial companies with high-growth potential. During the holding period GED will develop its portfolio companies through the internationalisation and sectorial consolidation strategies that characterise the firm.
The mid-market private equity firm already has experience in the aeronautical sector after making an investment from its fund GED V in Eliance in June 2018. Eliance is a helicopter and fixed wing aircraft operator for emergency services.
In addition to backing Eliance, GED’s fifth private equity fund has made six other platform investments and 12 bolt-on acquisitions. In this way, the portfolio of GED V España includes stakes in Procubitos Europe (leading European group in the manufacturing and distribution of ice), Discefa (world leader in the transformation and sale of high quality octopus), Araven (manufacturer of plastic products for the foodservice and retail sectors), GTT (tax management software for Public Administration), Vitro (development and sale of products and equipment for in vitro diagnostics) and ENSO (producer of PET packaging for food).

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