TORONTO, Aug. 27 /CNW/ - Skyservice Airlines Inc. today announced that it
has reached agreement to sell a majority interest in its charter airline
business to Gibralt Capital Corporation, a private equity investment company.
"In Gibralt, we have an ideal partner bringing experience, financial
strength and a long-term investment perspective that will help us realize the
full potential of our business," said Russ Payson, Chairman and CEO of
Skyservice. "Our plan is to leverage our profitable base of operations, not
only in the charter business but also in aviation services and maintenance."
"Gibralt's investment is the start of a new era for our company," added
Mr. Payson. "Many of our original shareholders were seeking to monetize their
investment, and we took advantage of this opportunity to put in place the best
possible long-term ownership for our company."
Skyservice's senior leadership team, comprising Russ Payson, Chairman and
CEO, Rob Giguere, President and COO and Jackie Smalec, CFO, will continue in
their current roles. No changes to the company's current operations and
workforce are planned.
"Skyservice Airlines has an exceptional reputation among tour operators,
the traveling public and the other air carriers it serves with dedicated
seasonal aircraft charters," said Sam Belzberg, Chairman of Gibralt Capital.
"With a solid and profitable business foundation, a strong management team and
a professional and dedicated workforce, we believe that Skyservice is
perfectly positioned to capitalize on its numerous opportunities for
The Skyservice Business Aviation Group, which specializes in corporate
aircraft management and sales, business jet charter services, fixed base
operations and an international air ambulance service, is not included in the
sale to Gibralt. This operation will continue to be owned and operated by
Skyservice Investments Inc.
In addition to customary commercial terms, the sale is contingent upon
regulatory and court approval. Subject to completion of these approvals, the
transaction is expected to close early fall, 2007.
About Skyservice - Founded in 1986, Skyservice is a Canadian aviation
enterprise serving the needs of Canadian travelers and the business aviation
community. Skyservice operates Canada's premier commercial charter airline,
fixed base operations and a leading worldwide air ambulance service.
Skyservice Airlines' customers include tour operators, corporations,
professional sport teams, governments, relief agencies and travel incentive
companies. The airline is widely recognized for its quality customer service
and the versatility of its charter operations.
About Gibralt - Gibralt Capital Corporation is a private investment
company headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. Gibralt Capital focuses
on private equity investments, mezzanine loans and bridge loans in middle
market companies primarily in North America. Gibralt seeks to make investments
in companies that have experienced management, a leading and defensible market
position and stable and growing earnings. Gibralt's previous investments have
included: The Keg Restaurants (management led buyout); Education Lending Group
Inc. (marketer of products, services and solutions to the federal guaranteed
student loan industry in the United States); AMJ Campbell Inc. (management led
buyout of Canada's largest household goods carrier and corporate office
relocation company); and CE Franklin (oilfield services company).
Note to editors/news directors:
Photographs of Skyservice aircraft (hi res) are available at:
Skyservice Airlines, Canada's premier Charter Air Carrier
Established in 1994, Skyservice Airlines is the number-one-requested
airline for the charter industry, with customers that include tour operators,
corporations, governments, relief agencies, and travel incentive companies.
Skyservice flies its customers' passengers to 64 destinations in 25
countries. Today, Skyservice flies more than one million passengers annually.
The airline is also highly regarded by passengers for the quality of its
in-flight service, food and entertainment.
Skyservice operates a fleet of 21 jet transports, including single-aisle
Airbus Industrie A319s and A320s and Boeing 757s, and widebody Airbus A330s.
The company currently flies to the United States, Mexico, Europe and the
Caribbean from 15 Canadian gateway cities.
During Canadian winter months, Skyservice operations focus on southern
destinations, serving primarily inclusive tour charter companies. The company
is the key provider of charter air travel for leading Canadian tour operators
such as Sunquest, Signature and Conquest.
During the Canadian summer, Skyservice deploys aircraft to Europe on
extended charter operations with European carriers. In summer 2007, Skyservice
has four aircraft based in Europe, three Airbus A 320s and one Boeing 757,
located in Cardiff, Dublin, Belfast and Lille, northern France.
The company's Canadian-based aircraft have been active on inclusive tours
to southern destinations, as well as the introduction of regular scheduled
service to Italy, Portugal and new direct service to Belgrade, Serbia and
In connection with its Rome, Venice, Belgrade and Zagreb scheduled
service, Skyservice recently launched an online booking portal to enable
passengers to purchase the air-only part of their travel directly.
Skyservice plans to operate 21 aircraft on its winter 2007-2008 programs,
including 11 757s, 9 A 320s, and one A 319.
In recent years the company has also added transport aircraft maintenance
and other support services for major air carriers.
For further information:
For further information: Allan Austin, Bryan Mills Iradesso, Tel: (416)
447-4740 ext 240, firstname.lastname@example.org