Alpen Capital, Dubai advised two large UAE based financial institutions on selling their combined stake in Empire Aviation Group FZCO ("Empire") to Air Works India (Engineering) Pvt. Ltd. ("Air Works"). The strategic investment was done through Air Works’ UK based subsidiary Air Works UK Engineering Limited and was financed by a structured debt from a consortium of lenders led by KKR Capital Markets India Private Limited. This landmark crossborder M&A transaction concluded by Alpen Capital is one of the recent deals which have seen the flow of funds from India into the GCC.
Formed in Dubai in 2007, Empire is a one-stop shop for integrated private aviation services offering aircraft sales, aircraft management, aircraft charter, and aircraft finance and insurance. Today, Empire has more than 100 staff and operates one of Middle East’s largest managed fleets of non-royal business jets, with 20 aircraft under management, operating out of Dubai International Airport.
Established in 1951, Air Works is India’s only EASA certified provider of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services. They maintain 50 aircraft types, for over 100 customers across 15 maintenance locations in India. Through their Air Livery subsidiary, Air Works is one of Europe’s largest providers of aircraft painting and refinishing services. Also, ‘SA Air Works India’, a JV between Air Works and Scandinavian Avionics (Denmark), provides complete turnkey avionics solutions to both commercial and military customers in India. This acquisition will help Air Works increase its footprint in the Middle East and provide world-class aircraft management services to its customers in India.
"Alpen Capital is delighted to announce the successful closure of this complex M&A transaction, where Alpen Capital acted as the sole financial advisor representing the sellers. The GCC-India corridor has a lot of potential and with our presence and expertise in both these markets; we feel we are well equipped to advise clients on such cross border deals" says Sanjay Vig, Managing Director, Alpen Capital (ME) Limited.
Commenting on this acquisition, Air Works Managing Director, Vivek Gour said: "In continuation of our long-term strategy to add significant capabilities to our service portfolio, Air Works is delighted to announce this strategic investment in Empire Aviation Group, which has a great business model, a very experienced management team and a strong reputation within the regional and international industry".
Commenting on the partnership, Empire co-founder and Executive Director, Paras Dhamecha said: "Since formation in 2007, EAG has successfully built a strong regional aviation business. We have also recently been looking at the exciting potential of the Indian aviation market and opened our first branch office there in 2011. So, we warmly welcome this partnership with Air Works, which will help facilitate our entry into India". Steve Hartley, co-founder and Executive Director of EAG, further commented: "This partnership with Air Works will help EAG to broaden our business base and service offering in the Middle East and India – and beyond".