Air Partner announces the aquisition of Baines Simmons Limited

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Air Partner plc, the global aviation services group, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Baines Simmons Limited, an aviation safety consultant for a total net cash consideration of up to £6.0 m

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Air Partner plc, the global aviation services group, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Baines Simmons Limited, an aviation safety consultant for a total net cash consideration of up to £6.0 million.

The acquisition is expected to be earnings enhancing in its first full year of ownership.

The reputation of the Baines Simmons brand and the expertise of its employees within the aviation sector are key elements which should enable the business to help shape the evolving safety requirements in the industry and in particular, the sub-sectors of aviation regulation, compliance and safety management performance. Baines Simmons will provide Air Partner with the opportunity to extend the Group’s service and product capabilities which will complement and enhance its existing broking business.

Founded in 2001, Baines Simmons is a trusted consultant and advisor to more than 750 aviation organisations and more than 40 aviation authorities and has helped develop the skills and expertise of more than 120,000 aviation professionals. The business has grown to be recognised as a world leader in Aviation Safety Consultancy, specialising in aviation regulation, compliance and safety management, advising clients across civil and military markets such as KLM, SAS, Thomas Cook, Thomson, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, The Isle of Man Government, BAE Systems, MoD, Rolls Royce, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Airbus, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and UK Military Aviation Authority (MAA).

Baines Simmons is the second acquisition made by the Group this year following the successful acquisition of Cabot Aviation in May 2015. Baines Simmons will continue to be the brand and organisation under which operations specifically within the aviation regulation, compliance and safety management performance sectors will be undertaken. As an Air Partner company, Baines Simmons can immediately benefit from the leverage and reach that Air Partner’s global office infrastructure and supplier network already provides for the Group’s other leading aviation services brands, Air Partner, Cabot Aviation and JetCard.

Following acquisition, Baines Simmons will continue to be managed by its current executive team led by Managing Director, Andrew Parker and founders, Keven Baines and Bob Simmons and will remain headquartered at Fairoaks Airport in Surrey.

Baines Simmons operates through three highly complementary practice areas:

Baines Simmons assist clients to improve business performance by de-risking complex organisations, ensuring that high safety performance standards, covering people, processes, systems and mind-set, are an integral part of an organisation’s approach to business. They work as trusted advisers to businesses, armed forces, governments and regulators. They provide strategic advice and support to aviation airline and maintenance boardrooms and technically support managers and staff to gain or recover compliance, develop effective safety management systems, manage risk and enhance business performance.
Baines Simmons’ consultancy services are supported by a range of safety tools that equip its consultants and clients to diagnose and implement safety improvements.

Baines Simmons has a world-leading reputation; it has trained over 120,000 aviation professionals across 35% of the world’s airlines, 20% of the world’s aircraft maintenance organisations and 20% of the world’s aviation regulators in training projects spanning individual development, team development and organisational competence development solutions.

Baines Simmons designed, built, launched and continues to support the highly successful Isle of Man Aircraft Registry on behalf of the Isle of Man Government. Since launch in May 2007, over 800 aircraft have registered, and Baines Simmons’ airworthiness surveyors have completed in excess of 2,200 aircraft surveys, recommending Certificate of Airworthiness for issue, renewal or export. The Registry is the fastest growing aircraft registry in the world and has a reputation for award-winning levels of customer service and the highest standards of independent regulatory oversight.

Baines Simmons has developed a range of industry-leading proprietary IP, enabling it to play a leading role at the forefront of the aviation regulatory authorities’ drive to transform the industry’s approach, beyond prescriptive compliance to proactive performance-based regulation. Baines Simmons notable proprietary IP includes: SMARRT® Tools (Safety Management And Risk Reduction Tool), which are a suite of diagnostic, consulting and training tools developed to enable improved performance in complex, regulated organisations.

In its filed accounts for the year ended 31st December 2014, Baines Simmons achieved profit before taxation of £0.7m on a turnover of £5.4m and it had net assets of £1.0m. The total net consideration for the acquisition is up to £6.0m, and is comprised of a £5.4m cash payment paid on completion and a Deferred Consideration of up to £0.6m payable in January 2018 dependent on performance criteria. The acquisition has been funded from a combination of the Group’s existing cash resources as well as a £3.6m debt facility provided by The Royal Bank of Scotland.
The Group will, in future, be reporting Baines Simmons’ results separately and alongside the results of its broking divisions, namely Commercial Jets, Private Jets and Freight.

Liberum acted as Lead Advisor to Air Partner.

Mark Briffa, Chief Executive of Air Partner, said: “I am extremely pleased to welcome Baines Simmons to Air Partner. Baines Simmons has built an outstanding reputation working with many of the world’s leading aviation organisations in the areas of aviation regulation, compliance and safety management performance and in the design and operation of Aircraft Registries.

Safety is the number one priority for all in the aviation industry and Baines Simmons is recognised as being at the forefront of the aviation regulatory authorities’ change in approach to drive the industry beyond prescriptive compliance to proactive performance-based regulation.
The acquisition of Baines Simmons is an exciting step for Air Partner. We look forward to working with the team at Baines Simmons on a range of strategic and complimentary growth opportunities from new regulatory changes, busier skies, greater organisational complexities, geographic expansion and new performance products and services.”

Andrew Parker, Managing Director of Baines Simmons and co-founders, Keven Baines and Bob Simmons, said: “This is a very exciting time for Baines Simmons. Keven, Bob and I have always been led by our simple founding vision ‘to make a positive and everlasting impact on aviation safety’.

With the support of Air Partner plc, we are confident that our clients, our services and our people will see even greater benefits in the years to come. We are very excited about joining the Air Partner Group and capitalising on the opportunities this presents.”

The Group expects to release its Interim results on 24 September 2015.

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