June 20, 2012
Indian maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider Air Works India Engineering has invested 1.2 billion rupees ($22 million) in Dubai’s Empire Aviation Group (EAG) to strengthen its presence in the Middle East and provide aircraft management services to customers in India.
Through this acquisition, the aircraft repair firm will “now add a new vertical of aircraft management and charter services to its portfolio,” says Air Works Managing Director Vivek Gour.
Empire Aviation is an aircraft asset management company formed in 2007 that offers aircraft sales and management, charter and aircraft finance and insurance. Gour says the acquisition will be funded through debt arranged by private equity firm KKR & Co. LP and others. Gour, however, would not disclose how much of Empire the investment purchased, but said Empire will be a co-partner for aircraft management services in India.
“We are confident that Air Works and EAG can build a strong franchise in the emerging aviation markets of India and the Middle East,” he adds.
And the investments will continue, with Gour saying that Airworks is looking at other acquisitions in Australia, South Africa, the U.S. and U.K. and may raise up to $50 million for the expansion effort.
Air Works is the chief provider of aviation services in India, and is certified to maintain more than 50 aircraft types for more than 100 customers across 12 maintenance locations. Air Works is India’s only European Aviation Safety Agency-certified MRO provider, with approvals for ATR 42/72, Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft.
With a strong network of original equipment manufacturer relationships, Air Works is an authorized service center for Rockwell Collins, Gulfstream, Bombardier, Honeywell, Agusta Westland, Bell Helicopter and Superjet International.
Through its Air Livery subsidiary, Air Works also is one of the world’s largest providers of aircraft paint services.