Cherry Tree advises Aerosim Technologies, Inc. in its sale to Flight Training, LLC
Flight Training Acquisitions Positions to Form an Aviation Training and Products Powerhouse
Flight Training Acquisitions LLC (FTA) has acquired Delta Connection Academy, Inc. and Aerosim Technologies, Inc. Flight Training Acquisitions was formed by equity sponsors Lincolnshire Management, Inc. and GTI Group LLC, Delta Air Lines, Inc. and the management of both businesses for the purpose of acquiring these two businesses in order to position the Company for leadership in the future of pilot provisioning, flight training and the development and marketing of simulation-based products.
This brings together two recognized leaders in aviation training and broadens the market reach of both organizations. Based on Aerosim’s cutting-edge high-fidelity training technologies and Delta Connection Academy’s industry-leading curriculum and training facilities, the organizations will leverage a comprehensive suite of training programs and systems to deliver highly skilled, safety-focused pilots who have been prepared specifically for success in the demanding environment of flight operations throughout the world. [The combined Company will reach approximately $40 million of sales in 2010.]
Managing Director of Lincolnshire Management, Allan Weinstein, says, “We are very excited to combine these two outstanding companies and their management teams. Aerosim Technologies and Delta Connection Academy are well-established leaders in their respective spaces that complement each other in order to offer a comprehensive solution for the aviation industry to serve the long-term demand for pilots.” He continues, noting, “We hope and expect to develop the premier global aviation training provider and supplier.”
Jonathan Schulhof, a partner at GTI Group, speaks to international expansion noting, “Based on experience with our current aviation interests in the Asian market, we saw a clear opportunity for a strong training service and product offering. The combined Aerosim and Delta Connection Academy offering is just the first step in an intensive expansion effort in this region.”
CEO of FTA, Dave Rapley, agrees stating, “Airlines are increasingly challenged to find ways to save money on pilot training, yet the market absolutely demands that they cannot sacrifice quality in their training program. This merger will establish a next-generation partner that will be capable of offering highly customized training solutions with a reputation for excellence.” Regarding pilot demand, Rapley states, “Delta Connection Academy graduates are absolute top of the line pilots. We will continue to enhance that record to provide operators with pilots they know they can rely on as their needs increase.”
Michael Lee, a Director at Lincolnshire Management, adds, “Aerosim’s training devices offer a cost-efficient solution to airlines faced with ever-present capital constraints, but their technology can also improve the overall quality of their training programs. We are also extremely pleased to maintain an ongoing partnership with Delta Air Lines, Inc., the world’s largest airline, and Delta Connection Academy has established a long track record of graduating outstanding pilots who go on to fly for leading airlines throughout the world.”
Ruzgar Barisik, a Partner at GTI Group, commented on FTA by saying, “FTA as a combined entity employs 500 employees across 5 training centers giving the company broad capabilities to provide one-stop training solutions to military and general aviation customers in addition to the commercial aviation community.”
About Flight Training Acquisitions LLC:
Flight Training Acquisitions (FTA) was a formed with a vision of providing the aviation industry with a premier single source for training. The company is comprised of aviation professionals and the financial backing of the Lincolnshire Equity Fund IV and GTI Group.
About Aerosim Technologies, Inc.:
Aerosim Technologies, www.aerosim.com, is the recognized leader in low cost, high-fidelity simulation-based training products within the aviation industry and has over 16 years of experience working with over 100 commercial airlines. Founded in 1993, Aerosim offers a wide-ranging portfolio of pilot and maintenance technician training tools for distance learning, ground school, and flight training. These solutions are both portable and flexible and have been utilized in classroom and computer lab environments, and on distance learning platforms. Aerosim products are used around the world by aircraft manufacturers, commercial airlines, flight training centers, universities and the military.
About Delta Connection Academy, Inc.:
Delta Connection Academy, www.deltaconnectionacademy.com, has been training the industry’s best pilots for over 20 years and operates a fleet of 73 aircraft and has trained students from 90 different countries and placed pilots with over 30 airlines. In addition to its main campus located at the Orlando/Sanford International Airport, the Academy is the flight-training provider for three colleges and universities across the U.S. and has a combined total enrollment of more than 550 flight students. The Academy has been recognized for its professional, highly structured airline oriented flight training and an award winning safety program. As a result, graduates of the Academy are sought after by many of the industry’s premier regional carriers.
About Lincolnshire Management, Inc.:
Lincolnshire Management, www.lincolnshiremgmt.com, is a leading private equity firm focused on generating superior returns for investors by acquiring and growing middle market companies across a wide range of industries. Founded in 1986, Lincolnshire currently has approximately $1.7 billion in capital under management for private equity investments, including the $835 million Lincolnshire Equity Fund IV. Lincolnshire has created significant value through more than 55 acquisitions, including private equity investments in such leading middle market companies as Amports, Bankruptcy Management Solutions, Prince Sports, Riddell Sports, American Coach Lines, Transcraft Corporation and Excelsior Radio Networks. Headquartered in New York, Lincolnshire has offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles as well as thorough deal representation in Asia and Europe, seeking value-focused opportunities wherever they may be found.
About GTI Group LLC.:
GTI Group, www.gti-llc.com, is a New York-based private investment firm with a simple thesis driven process: Identify large market trends, create or invest in market leaders, build and operate companies with hands-on influence and attract top tier investors, strategic partners and talent. GTI works with corporate partners, management teams and entrepreneurs to build world-class companies, investing in venture capital, growth equity and lower middle market leveraged buyout opportunities. The company is currently active in a variety of sectors including Aviation, Healthcare, Energy Services, Media and Online and Client Technology.
Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements.
This announcement includes forward-looking statements. Statements that are not historical or current facts, including statements about beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Such statements are based on current expectations, and actual results may differ materially. The forward-looking statements in this announcement are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, the possibility of continuing operating losses, the ability to adapt to rapid technological change, cost and difficulties we may face in integrating the businesses of XATA and GeoLogic Solutions, dependence on positioning systems and communication networks owned and controlled by others, the receipt and fulfillment of new orders for current products, the timely introduction and market acceptance of new products, the ability to fund future research and development activities, the ability to establish and maintain strategic partner relationships, and the other factors discussed under “Risk Factors” in Part IA, Item 1 of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2008 (as updated in our subsequent reports filed with the SEC). These reports are available under the “Investors” section of our Web site at www.xata.com and through the SEC Web site at www.sec.gov. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update them in light of new information or future events.