Renovus Capital Partners Acquires Phoenix East Aviation, a Leading Provider of Pilot Training
Wynnewood, PA – Renovus Capital Partners (“Renovus” or the “Fund”) announced today the acquisition of Phoenix East Aviation, LLC (“PEA” or the “Company”). Renovus is an education-focused private equity firm based outside of Philadelphia, PA. As part of the transaction, Renovus acquired a majority stake in the business with the management team retaining a significant interest in the Company.
Phoenix East Aviation, based in Daytona Beach, Florida, is a provider of ab initio pilot training to domestic and international students. Using a modern fleet of 31 single and twin engine aircraft, the Company offers a variety of training programs from commercial pilot’s license to flight instructor to Airline Transport Pilot (ATP). Programs range in length from nine to 18 months and attract students from around the world. Leading countries of origin include Norway, the U.S., India and Brazil. The school is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
“The partnership with Renovus is a great combination of skill sets,” noted Spence Edwards, PEA’s President. “We really understand the aviation side of the business—training people to fly and maintaining the aircraft. The Renovus team has had a lot of experience in the postsecondary education sector and understands how to recruit students in today’s marketplace. Together we have the resources to really grow the business.”
“Spence and Ghassan have built a high-quality school that delivers outstanding student outcomes,” added Jesse Serventi, a Renovus founder. “We spent a significant amount of time interviewing former graduates and evaluating the school’s training program and aircraft and the results were among the best we have ever seen.”
“With their high-quality offering, PEA is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing global shortage of pilots,” concluded Brad Whitman, a Renovus founder. “By 2031, the world will need 460,000 new commercial airline pilots and meeting this demand will drive significant growth in the flight training sector.”
“Partnering with Renovus will also open new avenues of growth for Phoenix,” added Ghassan Reslan, PEA’s CEO. “In addition to the global pilot shortage, there is a growing need for airplane mechanics and with Renovus’ capital and resources we can look to expand into ancillary areas like training mechanics.”
DLA Piper and Dickstein Shapiro advised Renovus on the transaction while SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and Edwards Cohen advised Phoenix East Aviation.
About Renovus Capital Partners
Founded in January 2010, Renovus Capital Partners is a $180 million, education-focused private equity fund based in Wynnewood, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia. Renovus invests in small and mid-sized
businesses within the education sector, including both educational institutions and companies that provide these institutions with technology, content and services. The Fund is particularly interested in growth-oriented businesses, and the Renovus team actively partners with management to build its portfolio companies through acquisitions, new strategic initiatives and operational improvements. The Renovus team has a combined 46 years of experience investing in the education sector and the founding partners have been working together since 2005. Renovus is a licensed SBIC. For additional information on Renovus Capital Partners, see www.renovuscapital.com.