September 21, 2018
Framing Global Deals: The CEO's Path From Vision to Deal Structure
Part I: Identifying M&A Targets in the Global Market
Perspectives from a Middle-Market CEO in a Unique Space
"We're steadily opening in new cities. Each single new city we go into is a just modest incremental risk—we're not betting on one huge deal. It's a remarkable value play."
– Steve Townes, CEO and founder, Ranger Aerospace.
The importance of the CEO in formulating an organization's M&A strategy cannot be overstated, according to the professionals who contributed to Chapter 2 in this 5th edition of Best Pr actices of the Best Dealmakers. This installment will explore how global CEOs and their teams of advisors get from vision to transaction framework, using both time-honored and innovative techniques—often including interpersonal skills—to achieve important business objectives such as optimizing global supply chain, expanding market share, satisfying neo-mercantile mandates, and realizing shareholder value.
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March 31, 2017
Ranger Aerospace Marks 20 Years of Private Equity Aviation Buyouts
Ranger Aerospace, a private equity consolidator and management holding company specializing in aerospace operations and aviation services deals since 1997, marked its twentieth anniversary since inception, during March 2017. Ranger has built three separate platform companies to over $100 Million revenues each thus far in its colorful 20 year history, and has managed as many as 4,250 personnel at 56 airports. Ranger adds value by bringing accomplished leaders to bear on operational improvements and accelerated growth. Ranger focuses heavily on operations, marketing, quality, and people, with a "Good to Great" incremental approach to business transformations.
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November 15, 2016
Ranger Aerospace Wins Another "Deal of the Year" Award for ACL Airshop
Ranger Aerospace, a private equity consolidator and management holding company specialized in aviation deals since 1997, has won the M&A Middle Market Private Equity Deal of the Year Award
, by The M&A Advisor international financial publication. The award, presented in New York on Nov. 9th, is for Ranger's acquisition of ACL Airshop
, a worldwide company headquartered in South Carolina, and with service operations at more than 30 of the world's top fifty air cargo hub airports. Ranger Aerospace and its several institutional private equity co-investors acquired majority interest in ACL Airshop in February 2016. An independent body of experts representing a cross-section of the middle market industry assessed hundreds of nominees, judging the finalists' deals, deal-makers and firms.
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March 16, 2016
ACL Airshop Teams for Growth with Ranger Airshop
, a leader in products and services for the global air cargo industry, has taken on growth investors by joining forces with Ranger Airshop. Founded as “Airline Container Leasing” in 1983, successor operations ultimately merged in 2007 with Airshop Holdings of Amsterdam, Netherlands. The combined company, ACL Airshop, has become a leading worldwide one-stop shop for leasing, sales, repair and management of Unit Load Devices (“ULDs”) and cargo net / strap manufacturing for the aviation industry. Today the company operates around the world on six continents, at more than half of the world’s top fifty air cargo hub airports.
of Greenville SC is the latest investment platform created and managed by Ranger Aerospace
. Ranger brings additional capital, strength and management resources to support ACL Airshop’s continuing growth. Ranger’s experience includes three large-scale, successful aerospace services consolidation platforms since 1997. Ranger’s plan is to enhance and expand ACL Airshop through strategic investments and organic growth, entering new lines of technical capacity, expanding geographically, and possibly acquiring complementary companies. It is noteworthy that Ranger is a long-time player in the aviation industry, and the two companies have known each other for 17 years
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April 16, 2015
InTech Aerospace Joins Forces with Ranger AeroSystems
Houston, Texas – InTech Aerospace LLC
, a steadily growing aviation technical services firm specialized in commercial and government airplane interiors and components, has taken on growth investors by joining forces with Ranger AeroSystems LLC. Based in Houston TX, InTech Aerospace has more than doubled in size in just the past three years, and is now poised for accelerated growth as commercial airlines fleets keep expanding. Performing a variety of overhaul, repair, and retrofit chores chiefly on aircraft interiors and related components on fixed-wing planes, InTech Aerospace today enjoys a client list that includes regional airlines, mainline carriers, large OEM’s, aircraft leasing companies, government airplanes, and major MRO facilities.
Ranger AeroSystems of Greenville SC is the latest investment platform created by Ranger Aerospace. Ranger brings additional capital strength and management resources to support InTech’s continuing growth, with three previous large-scale successful aerospace services consolidation platforms to Ranger’s credit since 1997. The plan is to enhance and expand InTech Aerospace through internal investments and organic growth, entering new lines of technical capacity, expanding geographically, and acquiring complementary companies.
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President and CEO of Ranger Aerospace to Lead SC Aerospace Group
COLUMBIA, SC – Steve Townes has been named chairman of SCAerospace, a private-sector leadership group organized by the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness and the South Carolina Department of Commerce. He will serve a two-year term as chairman.
"Businesses serving a common industry naturally cluster in a geographic location, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing with aerospace in South Carolina," said Ann Marie Stieritz, president and CEO of the SC Council on Competitiveness. "Proactive leadership is crucial to promoting the industry cluster, accelerating innovation and growing markets. Steve’s energy and expertise will do just that for aerospace in South Carolina."
Argosy Private Equity joins forces with Ranger Aerospace and Azalea Capital in New Investment Platform; Argosy’s third time with Ranger
LLC, a private equity consolidator specializing in aerospace operations and aviation services, has added Argosy Private Equity
to its newest platform for pursuing investments and acquisitions in the aerospace industry. The lead institutional investor in Ranger’s latest venture is Azalea Capital
(announced earlier). This group seeks accelerated growth in acquired companies through a collaborative partnership with proven management teams. This marks the third time
that Ranger and Argosy have affiliated in the past dozen years. Argosy was a major investor in Ranger’s previous successes with both Keystone Helicopter and Ranger International.
Ranger Aerospace and its institutional Private Equity partners form a new consolidation platform called Ranger AeroSystems, Inc.
Capital partners include Azalea Capital and Argosy Capital, both with long-time relations with Ranger. Acquisitions are targeted for middle market sized aerospace companies in sectors such as Component Overhaul, Specialty "Niche" MRO, and Precision Manufacturing. Other trades and technologies will also be considered, as well as aftermarket spares, rotables, and supply chain services. This technical services enterprise launches at a time of record-high orders in the commercial aviation industry.
Post-Merger Integration Proceeding Successfully with Ranger’s Latest Strategic Buyer, Including Acquisition of Hawthorne Services, Inc.
Greenville SC – Ranger International Services Group, Inc., the latest platform company of Ranger Aerospace LLC and other institutional investors, was acquired in 2012 by the $1.1 Billion Berger Group Holdings, Inc., a privately-held global engineering company. Since that time, post-merger integration and synergy efforts have been continuous and positive. Re-branding to "Louis Berger Services" fully occurred within 100 days post-acquisition, so that the enterprise could take advantage of the larger, global, 60-year brand of Berger Group. Primarily through attrition, SG&A overhead expenses were trimmed by roughly 30% in the face of Sequestration, a timely move given shifting market forces. Steve Townes remains the CEO of the technical services enterprise that he sold to Berger, and also has become a Shareholder of Berger Group securities. A new team of Officers was promoted into place, as part of the pre-existing succession plan, thus avoiding replacing the attrition savings, yet actually invigorating the organization. The logistics businesses in Fayetteville NC were consolidated seamlessly into Greenville SC. Less than 1 year after the buyout, we acquired Hawthorne Services, Inc., of Charleston SC, a fueling and facilities services company. Hawthorne is smoothly integrating into the family of companies, with high affinity across the South Carolina business units. The combined businesses have won new contracts as a direct result of their new critical mass, such as participation in the "AFCAP" efforts overseas, and a new "IDIQ" order with the US Corps of Engineers and DLA-Energy. This enterprise continues to seek new growth channels for organic growth, while remaining on the lookout for more acquisitions. Constant vigilance on Quality—Safety—FAR Compliance remain the hallmarks of the company, and making sure that we are an exemplary employer for outstanding people with "The Right Stuff."
June 2012 – June 2014
Ranger CEO Serving on the South Carolina Aerospace Task Force
Ranger Aerospace CEO Steve Townes has been appointed by the state’s Secretary of Commerce to serve on the Governor’s Aerospace Task Force. This is a senior advisory council aimed at state-wide initiatives to enhance and grow the aerospace industry in South Carolina. The aerospace industry is gravitating into the Southeastern USA, with a fair degree of success already in the state. South Carolina’s aerospace sector is the fastest-growing in the nation, and plans are being made to accelerate that. The strategic plan and other deliverables from the Task Force will help to shape industrial priorities, economic development, education/training, and possibly even tax enhancements and other legislative initiatives. Members of the SC Aerospace Task Force are Charlie Farrell, executive director from the Dept. of Commerce; Mr. Townes with Ranger Aerospace; Anita Zucker, CEO of The InterTech Group; General T. Michael "Buzz" Moseley, the former Chief of Staff of the entire US Air Force; Brigadier General Hank Taylor, VP with Charleston Regional Alliance; Dr. Dennis Encarnation, Harvard Business School; Dr. Marco Cavazzoni, VP with Boeing’s Charleston facility; Major General Robert Livingston, The Adjutant General of South Carolina; Susan Pretulak, VP with "ReadySC" and Apprenticeship SC; and Michael LaPier, Airports Director. In 2013, there are more than 200 aerospace and aviation companies in South Carolina employing over 20,000 people, including giants such as Lockheed, Boeing, BAE Systems, United Technologies/Goodrich, GE Aviation, Honeywell, Michelin Aircraft Tires, Champion Aerospace, many others. There are four large military bases in the state. New successful developments such as "SC-TAC" at the former Donaldson Air Base near Greenville SC, and the new Inland Port at the GSP International Airport, are expected to strengthen the twin aerospace hubs of South Carolina (Upstate, and Charleston).
February 1, 2012
Ranger Successfully Sells RISG to Berger Group Holdings
On February 1, 2012 Ranger Aerospace LLC and the other Private Equity institutional owners of Ranger International Services Group Inc successfully sold that enterprise to the Berger Group of Companies, of Morristown NJ. Berger is a privately held billion-dollar company that performs engineering services and various technical operations worldwide. This strategic divestiture resulted in superior "IRR" and multiple cash-on-cash returns to the equity and mezzanine investors who joined Ranger Aerospace in this platform build-up. In a troubled US Economy, and started in the midst of the worst Recession in 50 years, the Ranger team led the effective transformation and growth of these businesses. The business plan for this venture was designed to build value, while also achieving superior operational quality and customer satisfaction. This is yet another example of the proven business model of Ranger Aerospace which has yielded excellent outcomes in previous large-scale consolidations such as "ASIG" and Keystone Helicopter. Ranger Aerospace has practiced disciplined, "Good to Great" principles since its inception in early 1997, with constant vigilance on Quality—Safety—F.A.R. Compliance. Ranger Aerospace has now created superior results over 15 years in its "realized" ventures through varying economic cycles, in several different industry segments, and in several differing business models and cultures of acquired companies, all of which speaks to the core principles and techniques that Ranger follows. Staying true to form, in this government technical services platform, Ranger acquired lower middle-market companies for fair but modest valuations, grew the consolidated platform through aggressive marketing and teaming, beefed up the organization for accelerated growth, improved numerous internal business processes for greater efficiency, and delivered excellent enterprise value by placing the business at Exit into the larger, stronger hands of a new strategic parent. That creates the best possible outcome for employees and customers, indeed for the investors as well.
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January 11, 2012
Ranger International Buyout Recognized as Deal of the Decade by "The M&A Advisor" Magazine Awards
GREENVILLE, S.C., Jan. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Ranger International Services Group
, a private equity consolidator specializing in technical services, has been honored by The M&A Advisor
magazine for its acquisition of US Logistics
. The merger of US Logistics into Ranger International was deemed one of the "Deals of the Decade" by an independent panel that reviewed 389 nationwide finalists in each of 41 categories.
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November 1, 2011
Ranger Saudia Announces Teaming Agreement with Ranger International Services Group, Inc.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Ranger Saudia, Ltd.
, a Saudi Arabia holding company, announces a strategic teaming agreement with Ranger International Services Group
, a private equity consolidator from the U.S. specializing in aerospace/defense services. The teaming agreement between Ranger Saudia and its exclusive U.S. business partners was arranged for the purpose of competitively responding to solicitations and tenders in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ("KSA") and in other member nations of the Cooperative Council of Arab States of the Gulf ("GCC") in the broad field of aerospace/defense projects in that region…
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December 17, 2010
Ranger Aerospace Featured at 3 Private Equity Conferences
GREENVILLE, SC. — Steve Townes, Ranger Aerospace founder and CEO of Ranger International said: "Key leaders in the capital markets and aerospace services…
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August 31, 2010
Ranger’s Total Backlog Hits Record High: $270 Million
GREENVILLE, SC. — CAV International Inc.
, a US Government outsourcing contractor with expertise in airfield services & logistics
, announces that it has been awarded two contracts from the United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) and the United States Navy for services in Kuwait and Spain that total $115 Million Dollars over the next five years. CAV
(pronounced as in "cavalry") is a subsidiary of Ranger International Services Group, a private equity
consolidator specialized in aerospace/defense services.
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March 1, 2010
Major General Chuck Swannack Joins Ranger International as C.O.O. of its U.S. Logistics Subsidiary
Ranger International Services Group, a private equity consolidator specializing in government services, announces the appointment of Major General (US Army, retired) Chuck Swannack as the Chief Operating Officer of its wholly owned subsidiary US Logistics. US Logistics is a government outsourcing contractor specialized in tactical vehicle overhauls and repairs, technical staffing, base logistics, and aircraft technical services. General Swannack retired from the US Army in 2005 after 33 years of service, culminating as the Commander of the fabled 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. As the new Chief Operating Officer of US Logistics, Swannack will help guide the continuing aggressive growth of that award winning company, with constant vigilance on quality, safety, and F.A.R. compliance. US Logistics has strong backing from large institutional shareholders, and a deeply experienced management team at multiple levels which Swannack now joins in the COO role.
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February 24, 2010
Ranger International Launches ‘Ranger TechWorks’ for Engineering Services
Ranger International Services Group, a private equity consolidator specializing in government services, announced today the launch of a new Engineering Services business unit, Ranger TechWorks, to provide comprehensive technical and engineering services and adjunct engineering staffing solutions to branches of the DOD, other Government agencies, OEMs, Prime Contractors, and modification & engineering centers. A full range of engineering disciplines will be made available at customers’ sites, tailored to each customer’s needs and electronically linked with the headquarters in Greenville, SC. Ranger TechWorks, offering quality leadership in engineering services, will operate as a separate wholly-owned business unit of Ranger International. It will be a sister company to Ranger’s other operating subsidiaries, US Logistics and CAV International.
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Ranger International Services Group Wins 2009 M&A Award
Ranger has been honored by The M&A Advisor for its acquisition of US Logistics. The merger of US Logistics into Ranger International and CAV was deemed the Lower Middle-Market Deal of the Year (under $50mm) by an independent panel that reviewed the 170 nationwide finalists in each of 34 categories. Ranger was able to complete 2 acquisitions in 2009, during the worst economic recession in decards, by teaming with First New England Capital, Argosy Investments and Plexus Capital to acquire CAV International and US Logistics. The combined enterprise is expected to finish 2010 with revenue run rates in excess of $100 million dollars and robust operating profits. US Logistics and CAV (pronounced as in "cavalry") together employ approximately 1,000 people world-wide. These aggressive transactions total roughly $28 Million of capitalization by Ranger, despite the troubled economy.
August 24, 2009
Ranger International Acquires US Logistics, Inc.
Ranger Aerospace has tripled its government services operating investments with the acquisition of US Logistics, Inc., a government outsourcing contractor specialized in aircraft technical services, tactical vehicle overhauls and repairs, technical staffing, and base logistics. Ranger’s newest investment platform is called Ranger International Services Group, Inc., which acquired a majority stake in US Logistics on August 11, 2009. US Logistics has become a recognized segment leader in outsourced services with its well trained, diverse workforce, responsible for the successful execution of various projects in 8 countries and 38 states in the United States. This deal comes on the heels of Ranger’s buyout of CAV International. Total employment across US Logistics
and CAV International
by the end of 2009 will be over 1,000
skilled professionals specialized in the servicing of military vehicles and aircraft, airfield services, and base logistics support. Overall size of the merged company is estimated by management to be roughly $100 Million
by year-end. The combined operation ofUS Logistics
and CAV International
has a broader geographic footprint, a greater array of customers, and offers a wider variety of skilled technical services.
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June 3, 2009
Bill McLendon is named COO of CAV International.
CAV International, Inc.
, a US Government outsourcing contractor specializing in Airfield Services & Logistics, has appointed Bill McLendon
as Chief Operating Officer. McLendon is a shareholding officer of Ranger International. CAV’s largest current customers include USAF’s Air Mobility Command and the US Transportation Command, so McLendon’s own Air Force heritage serves CAV well. He was the #1 graduate from the US Air Force Academy, a Rhodes Scholar, and an F-15 instructor pilot, in addition to serving in the first Gulf War. His highly comparable experiences as Vice President-Operations for the dramatic growth of "ASIG" (Aircraft Service International Group, Inc.) mesh closely with CAV’s air base services operations. McLendon takes charge of all the day to day operations of CAV International, responsible for its leadership, growth, and continuous improvement. Carroll Vaughan
, the company’s President & Founder, remains in that role and will lead the company’s senior level business development and growth efforts.
June 1, 2009
Ranger restores its headquarters office to where it was founded in Greenville SC.
With operational and customer density in the greater Southeast US, Ranger’s board decided to move the head office to Greenville SC. When previously headquartered in Greenville, Ranger was recognized by the State Chamber of Commerce as one of the Top 25 largest private employers headquartered within South Carolina. The Greenville/Spartanburg/Anderson "MSA" metro area
in 2008 showed population of 1.073 million people. Greenville was recently ranked as one of the best small cities
in North America for business.
February 1, 2009
CAV International—10 Years of Growth in Government Outsourcing.
CAV International, Inc.
, a US Government outsourcing contractor specialized in Airfield Services & Logistics, announced that it achieved over 50% compound annual growth rates from January 2005 through December 2008. For that 4-year period, CAV grew by more than one and one-half times, each year, year over year. In that same period, employment rose from fewer than 50 people to over 325 government services professionals. In 2008 alone, CAV International
provided over 625,000 man-hours of professional services, operating across 19 time zones from Kuwait to Japan and Alaska. In 2008 CAV efficiently handled over 18,000 transport airplanes` arrivals and departures at various locations, and courteously served over 850,000 in-transit passengers. At the same time, CAV managed and moved over 140,000 tons of cargo and mail, operating over 200 major pieces of airfield equipment. CAV`s trucking and docking operations saw 110,000 unit shipments in 2008, plus an additional 29,000 unit shipments of HAZMAT items requiring specialized handling and training. Over time, CAV intends to grow its business steadily toward the strategic goal of becoming the largest and best independent Airfield Services & Logistics government outsourcing contractor in the industry.
January 29, 2009
Ranger Aerospace Re-Enters Airfield Services Sector with CAV Buyout.
, a private equity consolidator that specializes in the aviation industry, has re-entered the airfield services industry with the majority buyout of CAV International, Inc.
CAV (pronounced as in "Cavalry
") is a government outsourcing contractor specialized in airfield services and logistics. Ranger’s newest investment platform is called Ranger International Services Group, Inc.,
which acquired a majority stake in CAV International in the 1st quarter of 2009. Additional growth investments and acquisitions are planned for this latest Ranger build-up. This segment of the government outsourcing sector is expected to exhibit continued growth in the years ahead. CAV has enjoyed over 50% compound annual growth rates over the past four years of 2005-2008.
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December 5, 2008
Ranger Aerospace & Aeronautics, Inc. Modifies Name to Ranger Rotorcraft Group, Inc.
Ranger Aerospace & Aeronautics, Inc., currently specializing in investments in the rotorcraft services industry, has changed its corporate name for better branding purposes to Ranger Rotorcraft Group, Inc. The company announced this routine change as part of larger plans by Ranger Aerospace LLC to invest in other industry sectors in the coming years under the "Ranger Aerospace" brand.
October 13, 2008
Ranger Rotorcraft Launches AeroDesign Unit
IRVING, Texas, Oct. 13 — Ranger Rotorcraft launched a new aerospace engineering business unit, "AeroDesign," to provide comprehensive technical services and adjunct engineering staffing solutions to OEMs, FBOs, prime contractors, and aircraft modification centers in the rotary-wing markets. The new subsidiary will operate as an integrated engineering organization within Ranger Rotorcraft, functioning as an independent business unit and acting as a catalyst for service growth, products and STC development, and competitive advantage. Internally, this unit will support engineering requirements for several other companies acquired by Ranger.
Ranger Rotorcraft Acquires Two Additional Heli-Services Firms
Ranger Rotorcraft acquires two additional helicopter technical services firms, in a combination of asset purchases and stock investments. "IFS" manufactures air conditioning and video systems for helicopters. "Platinum" specializes in helicopter maintenance, modifications, and customizing. IFS and Platinum are based in Nevada, and both will become integrated with the Fort Worth, Texas depot-sized rotorcraft services operations of Ranger Rotorcraft’s other holdings.
Ranger Rotorcraft Group Acquires Another Helicopter Services Company
Ranger Rotorcraft Group acquired again in the helicopter services sector through its investment in THP Ranger AeroPartners, which bought an award winning 36-year old helicopter services company in Fort Worth, TX, with over 140,000 sq. ft. of shop and hangar facilities at Meacham Airfield. Through this new investment, Ranger Rotorcraft performs completions and other complex services and retrofits on numerous civilian and military helicopters each year, producing over 200,000 man hours of highly skilled labor, engineering, and overhauls. Ranger’s plans point toward another rotorcraft services consolidation, and aggressive growth. Ranger’s board of directors is augmented by the appointment of Mr. John Murphey, the retired Chairman and CEO of Bell Helicopter Textron, whose 45 years of helicopter industry expertise will enhance Ranger’s strategic objectives in the sector.
Ranger negotiates successfully for a substantial capital partnership.
Ranger negotiates successfully for a substantial capital partnership with one of the largest private family-controlled financial and industrial organizations in Texas. Through the Private Equity arm of this huge organization, Ranger Aerospace will now have strong capitalization for another round of acquisitions. Efforts commence to acquire companies with a Texas and Mid-South focus, in several aerospace services sectors.
Ranger Aerospace appoints Brian Nerney as Partner and Managing Director.
Nerney had also been a private investor in the Keystone deal. His aerospace and Wharton background is combined with three very successful private equity consolidations. Nerney and Townes began their aerospace careers together nearly 3 decades earlier at LTV Aerospace & Defense, where Nerney rose from Engineering to Finance, then Corporate Development/Mergers & Acquisitions.
Ranger Commences Another Round of Capital Raising.
Ranger Aerospace explores the capital markets for fresh approaches to financing another round of acquisitions, including hedge funds, venture capital, private equity, and London’s "AIM" market. Concurrently, acquisition candidates are contacted in numerous aerospace sectors. Through 3rd Qtr 2006, offers and efforts were made on two large targets, but Ranger was out-bid by larger strategic buyers.
Ranger and United Technologies close the sale of the rotorcraft companies to Sikorsky.
Start to finish, this extraordinary success was a classic case study in acquisition management, growth, and shareholder value creation. In a 4-year time period, without harming the culture and tradition of a 50-year old family business, dramatic changes and improvements were made, but without any drastic cuts. Indeed, internal investments in people, benefits, training, incentives, capital assets, marketing, facilities, quality, and business processes all were boosted with positive results. The company was transformed and readied as a true strategic business unit for its large new parent, to the benefit of its employees, customers, suppliers, and of course its investors.
Keystone Ranger and Sikorsky, a unit of United Technologies Corp (NYSE: UTX), enter into a definitive agreement to sell the rotorcraft holdings of Ranger.
This will align Ranger’s helicopter services companies, Keystone Helicopter
and CTI, with one of the largest helicopter manufacturers in the world, and the strengths of a $37 Billion parent company. (see News Release section for more details)
July 2005 – Ground breaking ceremonies held for next phase of what will be one of the largest, most sophisticated independent maintenance, repair, modification and technology development centers dedicated exclusively to rotorcraft in the country.
This helicopter depot reflects the unprecedented growth Keystone Helicopter has enjoyed over the last several years. Outfitted with state of the art technical capability, new equipment, and spacious design, it allows decades of strategic growth. With ISO-9000, AS-9100, and "Kaizen" initiatives advancing concurrently with the new, modern facilities, the company’s long range plan eventually shows the Heliplex exceeding 300,000 sq. ft. on 30 acres, with direct access tie-in’s to the ramps and taxiways of the adjacent Chester County Airport. The Heliplex has been planned in close coordination with the FAA 25 year master plan for this suburban Philadelphia airport. The Heliplex was refinanced in 2004 through a sale/leaseback transaction with institutional investors.
Revenues topped just over $100 million in 2004, another record year of growth.
Ranger expects growth in 2005 to reach approximately $120 million, excluding any additional acquisitions that might be made. The milestone marks the second time that Ranger and its institutional partners have led a segment consolidation venture’s revenues to over $100 million in less than four years. Over the last several years, this Ranger venture has posted Compound Average Growth Rates for both revenues and profitability of over 20%. Ranger continues to seek acquisition candidates for the rotorcraft consolidation effort–as well as companies in other aviation/aerospace segments that could serve as another "platform vehicle."
Ranger and Institutional Investors acquire Composite Technology, Inc., with operations in Texas, Canada, Brazil, England, and Singapore.
CTI is a large overhauler of rotorblades, composite components, and bonded aerostructures.
The company completes another successful year with record-high sales and EBITDA profit growth.
Compound Average Growth Rates ("CAGR") for both revenues and profitability over a multi-year period are now in the 20% range, a remarkable accomplishment in present market conditions. Corporate development pursuits continue, including full-fleet support contracts with large operators, additional investments in technical capacity, and a deliberate search for more acquisitions in the rotorcraft services sector.
Ranger successfully rounds out its institutional shareholder group.
Ranger successfully rounds out its institutional shareholder group to encompass five substantial investment groups as part of a Second Round capitalization effort for the helicopter services consolidation. Institutionals now include Meridian Venture Partners, Argosy Investment Partners, Brown Brothers Harriman, Spring Capital, and Merion Capital.
Ranger successfully closes on the initial Heliplex property transactions via Ranger Property Holdings, Inc.
Ranger successfully closes on the initial Heliplex property transactions via Ranger Property Holdings, Inc., a realty subsidiary in which this very large investment (in excess of $10 MM) will be accomplished, separate from the operating subsidiaries. By year-end, the first new year of Ranger ownership finds Keystone Helicopter
in "record high" condition. Revenues grew over 25%, and EBITDA profits grew over 35%. Empirical measures suggest that equity value has more than doubled so far. Internal capital investments in 2002 were several times higher than previous years; the helicopter fleet was expanded by 8 turbine aircraft; and employment grew by more than 125 people. Quality and safety improvements resulted in a spotless record, improved efficiencies, FAA Diamond Awards, and the HAI Platinum Award. The company’s marketing tempo and industry image have been dramatically enhanced. Another round of equity capital is in-work, and several acquisitions are being pursued. The forecast for 2003 is "another strong year," with deliberate strengthening of internal operating systems, quality programs, and business processes to accommodate further growth.
In buyout, Keystone finds key to growth
In the middle of a helicopter market that has been flat for nearly a decade and seems likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future, how does a 50-year-old rotorcraft repair, maintenance, management and operations company not only survive but actually manage to grow? In the case of Keystone Helicopters, it does so by making the most financial advantage of its prime but previously undervalued market position; its reputation as the middle-Atlantic region’s blue-chip rotorcraft repair and mod shop; and by a steady multi-year policy of diversification and growth, particularly in the modestly but steadily growing aeromedical transport world.
Oh, and add one other ingredient to this mix: money. Keystone has benefited from an estimated $75 million cash injection as a result of its buyout for an undisclosed sum by the Ranger aerospace venture capital group, a network of holding companies. Spearheaded by the peripatetic Steve Townes, Keystone has been energized, not just with money but with an overall plan for the future, all at a time when the overall economy is stalled in a slump, a condition many financial gurus agree is one of the best times to prepare for growth.
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Ranger successfully arranges over $3MM of co-investment from State of PA for the Keystone Heliplex,
Ranger successfully arranges over $3MM of co-investment from State of PA for the Keystone Heliplex, saving the company almost 2 years and over $2MM for the creation of a large new technical operations center. Efforts with the state succeed in 90 days start-to-finish.
January 4, 2002
Ranger Purchases Keystone Helicopter
Ranger successfully funds and closes its purchase of Keystone Helicopter
via a new holding company called Keystone Ranger Holdings, Inc., with Steve Townes as its Chairman and James McCaughan as its CFO. (see "News" section herein). Because Keystone is a smoothly running, profitable, high quality company with outstanding management in place, Ranger immediately begins efforts to acquire its next company in the Helicopter Services sector. The Keystone Ranger team also commences additional capital-raising actions.
Definitive Acquisition Agreement is signed for Keystone Helicopter.
Despite delays caused by the tragedies of Sept 11th, Ranger arranges capital from its own resources, Meridian Venture Partners, Argosy Capital, private investors, and First Union Bank/Wachovia. A new Chief Financial Officer is recruited from Rollins, a $1.2 Billion transportation and logistics company in Wilmington, DE. On Dec 20th 2001, a Definitive Acquisition Agreement is signed for Keystone Helicopter
Ranger Aerospace LLC moves its corporate offices to Philadelphia, PA.
Ranger Aerospace LLC moves its corporate offices to Philadelphia PA, and partners with local private equity groups, to seek out new acquisitions. Initial studies show that the on-shore (non-marine) Helicopter Services industry remains fragmented, though robust and growing. After careful market research and assessments of numerous target companies, Ranger selects Keystone Helicopter
as its next "platform company" for a segment consolidation strategy. An exclusive Letter of Intent is executed, followed by a wide search for additional institutional investment capital to co-invest with the Ranger and other private investors.
Ranger Aerospace LLC became a new entity for similar ventures.
Steve Townes, Ranger’s founder, assumes additional role as Chairman upon the merger-related exit of George Schwartz. Dr. George Watts is named President & CEO of Ranger Partners Group
July 11, 2001
Ranger successfully completes the sale of ASIG to Signature Aviation (formerly known as BBA Aviation).
Steve Townes, ASIG’S CEO and Founder of Ranger, points out that this powerful merger creates one of the largest and strongest independent aviation services companies in the world, with over 8,000 employees at more than 100 major airports.
Start-to-finish, this was a successful management accomplishment and institutional investment. In just over three years, sales rose almost 55%, and EBITDA rose by nearly 50% against increasingly stiff competition and pricing pressure from customers. Revenue growth was substantially faster than underlying industry growth, and profitability is believed to have become "best in class." Over $32 million in capital spending was invested to improve the company’s operating assets and to grow the business in that same short space of time.
The company increased from 30 locations to 56, and employment almost doubled from about 2,500 to over 4,000. Though the company’s complexity doubled, overhead staffing was slowly trimmed by over 25%, new IT initiatives allowed for faster and better operational and financial reporting, and an entire layer of regional management teams were removed without replacement. Workforce turnover, a chronic problem in this entire industry segment, was cut in half (from 125% down to well below 70%) through numerous innovative workforce initiatives, training programs, creative incentive plans, and significant increases in leadership communications.
Quality improvements evidenced by industry-leading ISO-9000 certifications, dramatically improved customer oriented operating metrics (such as flight delay ratios), and independent surveys showing the company as "best in its industry" were the centerpiece of Ranger’s strategy after acquiring the company. ASIG became the airline industry’s strongest independent brand through focused branding and marketing methods.
Ranger pursued numerous acquisition targets through the entire period while growing and improving ASIG. Three were accomplished (the largest of which was the 20-city operation of Elsinore Aviation), and their integration into the enterprise was smoothly accomplished by the Ranger Team. For many of the acquisition opportunities, very large strategic buyers paid dramatically higher prices for some large ASIGcompetitors, a tactic that Ranger and its Board refused to follow.
From inception through sale, over $300 Million in bank financings, bond offerings, purchase/re-sale, and equity-raising were involved in creating this very strong grouping of companies. Institutional investors enjoyed a profitable exit and, given starkly deteriorating industry conditions, a satisfactory IRR.
Ranger and Signature Flight Support merger.
Ranger and Signature Flight Support modify the terms of the merger and seek Closure in early July.
Ranger recognized as one of South Carolina’s "Top 25 Private Employers."
The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce recognizes Ranger as one of the "Top 25 Private Employers" headquartered within the state.
Ranger and Signature Flight Support enter into a definitive agreement.
Ranger and Signature Flight Support, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Signature Aviation
Signature Aviation (formerly known as BBA Aviation), enter into a definitive agreement under which Signature will acquire Ranger stock for a total consideration of approximately $152 million including the assumption of ASIG bonds and the repayment of debt. This combination brings together two of the largest and most respected names in the aviation services industry. (see News Release section for more details)
Ranger is viewed by many in the industry to have actually sparked the multi-year consolidation wave among large airfield services companies.
Noteworthy, however, is that Ranger’s discipline of never over-paying for an acquisition allowed larger strategic buyers to acquire several large competitors. Over a three-year period, in addition to growing and improving ASIG, Ranger also made acquisition efforts on Ogden Aviation (became part of Menzies Group plc), DynAir (became part of SwissPort), AMR Services (became Worldwide Flight, owned by a billion dollar venture capital company), Miami Aircraft Services (became part of Worldwide Flight), Airline Equipment Services (became part of Worldwide Flight), ServisAir plc (became a subsidiary of a very large French holding company, and later became a merger partner with Lufthansa GlobeGround), Hudson General, US Airports Corporation, Airports Group Int’l (became part of TBI, plc), and other smaller targets of opportunity.
Ranger positioned and ready for integrating with more companies.
Organizationally and financially, Ranger has positioned the company to be ready for integrating more companies, either in-segment direct fits with ASIG, or sister companies in related fields such as FBO’s, light manufacturing, avionics, cargo services or parts distribution. Ranger is also seeking relationships with aviation-oriented Internet companies to advance its own web-centric strategies. Ranger expects to successfully pursue additional acquisitions and investments in 2000 and beyond, and to position the company strategically either for going public or seeking larger merger partners at some future possible date.
Ranger stops efforts to acquire Ogden Aviation.
Ranger stops its long-running efforts to acquire the ground handling, air cargo, and fueling services operations of Ogden Aviation. Earlier in the Fall of 1999, following months of due diligence, Ranger’s bid for Ogden Aviation had to be reduced significantly in price because of certain possible discrepancies discovered by Ernst & Young’s national due diligence team. Following those discoveries, Ogden’s CEO suddenly resigned, and Ogden’s stock value dropped roughly $1 Billion in total market value over a 2-month slide. Ranger never resumed its pursuit of Ogden Aviation.
ASIG ranked No.1 in quality and perceived value in worldwideAvitas survey.
Ranger commissions Avitas
survey of 700 top-ranked airlines executives in North America and Europe resulting in ASIG being ranked No.1 in quality and perceived value.
Ranger acquires Elsinore Aviation LP
Ranger acquires Elsinore Aviation LP, which adds 20 new domestic USA cities to the growing ASIG network of airfield operations. This brings total employment up to 3,900, one of the largest independent aviation services enterprises in the world.
ASIG named "Best in the World"
Ranger’s largest operating unit, ASIG, is named "Best in the World" by a prestigious international survey of major airlines. Ranger was cited as having a significant and positive influence in ASIG’s dramatically improved performance. (see News Release section for more details)
Record sales for ASIG.
The first full year of Ranger’s ownership of ASIG results in record high sales, record high profits at the EBITDA level, and a wholly revamped program of quality improvements, workforce initiatives, customer satisfaction, and growth opportunities. Empirical evidence suggests that the company’s equity market value has likely more than doubled in just one year. Internal and external quality audits confirm that the company is measurably improving.
Ranger accelerates ASIG’s marketing and joint venturing efforts.
Ranger accelerates ASIG’s marketing and joint venturing efforts, yielding more joint ventures in multiple cities in Europe, national- level contracting opportunities with large domestic air carriers, and the acquisition of a British airports services firm (GAH Aviation Ltd.). Ranger Aerospace Leasing Corporation is formed to enhance subsidiaries’ abilities to negotiate large scale logistics and equipment projects with airlines customers.
Ranger initiates a takeover effort of Hudson General Corporation.
Ranger initiates a takeover effort of a large publicly traded competitor (Hudson General Corporation). By February 1999, this effort had triggered a "bidding war" (see Reuters, Bloomberg, and other public domain business reports), with Lufthansa’s GlobeGround unit topping the field with a substantial premium. Ranger creates a National Training Center at Ft. Lauderdale International Airport.
Ranger leads ASIG’s effort to refinance its acquisition debts.
Ranger leads ASIG’s effort to refinance its acquisition debts, achieving a successful $80MM bond offering at a time when bond offerings and IPO’s were failing in the financial markets. Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s rate the company’s financials as "B-Plus" and "B-Three", which are higher ratings than those attained by the former Fortune 500-sized parent company.
Ranger causes a one-time re-organization in ASIG.
Ranger causes a re-organization in ASIG, streamlining the operation and creating a "Quality First" leadership culture. This is announced 100 days in advance, then carried out precisely as forecasted. Upon de-layering, a team-based organization is established. Ranger’s CEO shares common stock equity with more than 70 key leaders in the enterprise, through stock options designed to foster a high level of entrepreneurial performance. Numerous workforce initiatives are launched, aimed at improving productivity, quality, and morale while reducing turnover. Marketing efforts are stepped up to new levels. Customer service improvement programs are initiated. Additional acquisitions are sought, with the effort continuing on an ongoing basis for domestic or overseas deals, large or small. Ranger initiates a number of transaction dialogues. The several sub-brands of "ASII" are all unified under a single new name worldwide: "ASIG" – Aircraft Service International Group, Inc.
Ranger Aerospace Corporation acquires ASII from Viad (Dial)
Ranger Aerospace Corporation acquires ASII and its 7 subsidiaries and affiliates in an all-cash transaction, using a combination of senior bridge loans, venture capital, and a substantial level of equity. Ranger is ASIG’s sole shareholder. The seller is Viad
Corporation, the new multi-billion dollar spin-off from Dial Soap Corporation. Dial at one time decades earlier had been Greyhound Corporation. The challenge with ASII: how to unify all seven subsidiaries into a single cohesive brand, and grow the business against very tough competitive odds.
Primary equity holders for ASIG and other acquisitions are recruited and assembled.
Firm offer is made for ASIG, which is planned as Ranger’s centerpiece company for its industry consolidation strategy. Viad
Corp (ASIG’s parent) accepts the offer, due diligence commences, with assistance by Ranger’s outside advisors: Ernst & Young’s national due diligence practice, the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis (one of the largest and best-placed mergers & acquisitions legal firms in the world).
March 1, 1997
Ranger secures initial $100 million of venture capital and debt funding.
Ranger negotiates with numerous venture capital equity shareholders and senior and mezzanine financing sources for pursuit of its industry roll-up strategy, securing initial commitments for over $100 million from an array of major banks, investment banks, equity pools, and venture capital funds. More than 50 funding presentations were made at major money-center locations in this quest for capital.
Ranger Partners becomes Ranger Partners Group LLC.
Ranger Partners becomes Ranger Partners Group LLC
and adds 5 partner companies, acting as a consortium (including Tioga Capital Corporation). Ranger Partners Group’s CEO founds Ranger Aerospace Corporation as its sole shareholder and is joined by Ranger’s Executive VP; Tioga Capital Corporation’s CEO later joins as co-founder.
Ranger Partner companies and founding officers are identified.
Ranger develops a long range business plan and strategy aimed at achieving top tier leadership in aviation services and aerospace support & supply companies, in order to capture a large position in the industry consolidation wave that is starting. Partner companies and founding officers are identified.
Ranger Partners explores acquisition of ASIG.
Ranger Partners first explores acquisition of ASIG with Dial Corporation (ASIG’s parent company). Ranger’s CEO maintains the effort periodically thereafter.
September 1, 1988
Ranger Partners founded.
Ranger’s predecessor (Ranger Partners) is founded as a proprietorship, then later changed to a limited partnership, operating as a turnarounds, consulting, capital formation, and deal-making business. Continuously through to the present, Ranger Partners Group has functioned as management experts specializing in mergers & acquisitions, turnarounds, leveraged buy-outs, interim management, strategic marketing & consulting, TQM programs, merchant banking & business brokerage, capital raising, organizational development and training. This enterprise principally serves the world-wide aerospace, aviation, airline and air cargo industries, as well as their support trades, for both civilian and Government operations. Ranger Partners
also works effectively with Private Equity and Venture Capital institutional investors to pursue acquisitions, turnarounds, and roll-up’s, and to offer crisis management or "work-out" management for troubled portfolio companies. As partners, we can bring both management expertise and our own money to the table, as co-investors. For more information, visit www.rangerpartners.com
– A worldwide provider of air cargo control products and services, with operations at numerous global air hubs.
– A specialty MRO company that retrofits interiors for commercial airliners.
– Argosy Capital is a private equity fund based in Wayne PA.
– A statewide public/private partnership with Ranger's CEO as inaugural Chairman.
Balance Point Capital Partners
– Private equity group. Formerly known as First New England Capital.
– A $100 Billion Japanese holding company with substantial Private Equity interests in the USA.
Louis Berger Services
– Louis Berger Services (formerly Ranger International, our previous Ranger platform).
– General counsel for Ranger business and legal matters.
– Consulting, deal-making, and venture capital.
U.S. Military Academy, West Point
– CEO donates mascots to West Point
– Helicopter Flight, MRO & Engineering services (former Ranger investment).
Composite Technology, Inc.
– Rotor-blade overhauls and composite components (former Ranger investment).
– Azalea Capital is a private equity fund based in Greenville SC.
Perot Aerospace Holdings LLC
– New investment venture with two former top Ranger officers as leaders.
– Ranger started this enterprise in Europe, Townes was the founding Chairman.
– Venture capital for middle market companies; Ranger investor.
Brown Brothers Harriman
– One of the oldest and largest private banking firms in America; previous Ranger investor.
Merion Investment Partners
– Venture investments for strong growth companies; previous Ranger investor.
Spring Capital Partners
– Equity financing for high performance companies; previous Ranger investor.
– Insurance and Financial Institution; previous Ranger investor.
CIBC World Markets
– Corporate & Investment Banking; previous Ranger investor.
– Aerospace/Defense Investment Banking; strong linkage with Ranger.
– Aviation investment banking.
Black Knight Partners
– Specialized Merchant Bankers
Kirkland & Ellis
– Acquisitions & Securities Law Firm; Ranger’s law firm during "ASIG"
Baker & Botts
– Ranger’s special outside legal counsel for overseas projects and Saudi venture.
– Ranger’s special outside legal counsel for US government contracting.
– Real Men Don’t Litigate; how our CEO creatively solved a legal issue.
The Wings Club
– Society of Aviation Professionals .
– Ranger’s outside auditors for Ranger International.
– Ranger’s outside auditors for Keystone Helicopter.
Ernst & Young
– Ranger’s outside auditors for ASIG.
– Ranger’s outside auditors for Ranger Rotorcraft Group.
– One of the nation's oldest and best FBO & technical services chains, headquartered in Greenville SC.
– An historic manufacturer of jets, was once a medium-sized aerospace conglomerate, now a major player in MRO.
– One of the oldest aircraft manufacturers in the USA. Became part of the LTV conglomerate in 1960s through '90s.
LTV Aerospace & Defense
– Part of the huge Dallas conglomerate called LTV Corporation.
The Dee Howard Company
– Legendary aircraft modifications firm in Texas, now part of the Singapore Aerospace global conglomerate.
– One of the leading aviation consultancies in the world.
– One of the top aerospace consulting and investment banking firms in the world.
– One of the world's foremost aviation consulting firms, part of the Marsh Group.
– One of the leading investment banking firms for aerospace and aviation.
Aerospace Industries Association
Aeronautical Repair Station Association
– National Business Aircraft Association.
– International Air Transport Association.
Helicopter Assoc. Intl (HAI)
– Advancement of civil helicopter industry
American Helicopter Society
– Professional rotorcraft group.
– Air Transport Association
– National Air Transportation Association.
– Federal Aviation Administration
– The National Transportation Safety Board.
– Flight Safety Foundation
75th Ranger Regiment Association
– 75th Ranger Regiment Association.
– US Army Ranger Association
Professional Pilot Magazine
Aviation International News Magazine
Aviation Week magazine
Rotor & Wing
Air Cargo World
- Leading magazine of the global Air Cargo industry.
Boeing Current Market Outlook
- Definitive annual market research on the commercial aerospace industry.