Bombardier closes $195m sale of Flexjet to Directional Aviation Capital
Bombardier announces that the sale of Flexjet to a group led by Directional Aviation Capital has been completed.
Bombardier has announced that it has closed the sale of Flexjet to Flexjet, LLC, a newly-created company funded by a group led by Directional Aviation Capital, a US private investment firm owned by Kenn Ricci.
Flexjet is one of three major fractional jet companies in the US, along with NetJets – owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway – and Flight Options, which is also part of Ricci’s Directional Aviation Capital.
Originally thought to be worth $185 million, Bombardier’s sale of Flexjet, after owning the company for 18 years, is now estimated at $195 million, which includes the assumption of an estimated $70 million of customer advances by Directional Aviation.
The transaction has received the approval of all appropriate regulatory authorities and other consents from government bodies in the US.
As a result of the closing, a firm order worth around $2.4 billion by Flexjet, LLC for 115 business aircraft from Bombardier, consisting of 25 Learjet 75s, 60 Learjet 85s, 20 Challenger 350s and 10 Challenger 605s has been confirmed.
The agreement also includes options for an additional 150 business jets. If all the options are exercised, the total value of the order will be approximately $5.6 billion based on 2013 list prices.
The sale was described by Corporate Jet Investor’s editor in September 2013 as “an unsually rational deal for buyer, seller and the industry,” noting Ricci’s experience of running fractional aircraft companies, having acquired Sentient Jet in 2012.
Flexjet now joins Ricci’s portfolio of aviation companies, which also includes the likes of Constant Aviation, Corporate Wings, Soujourn Aviation, and Nextant Aerospace, which specialises in building “re-manufactured” aircraft such as the Nextant 400XT and the Nextant G90XT, using the airframes of existing business aircraft and adds new engines and interiors.