KKR to buy stake in helicopter company for $924m

KKR will take a 49.9% stake in Spain-based Grupo Inaer, leaving Investindustrial and management with the remaining 50.1%.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has agreed to buy a minority stake in Spanish helicopter fleet business Grupo Inaer from Investindustrial, in a deal valued at $924 million.

Investindustrial acquired 75 percent of Inaer in 2006 for $247 million. Inaer’s management team continued as shareholders with 15 percent of the company, and Spanish rail and logistics business Transfesa held the remaining 10 percent.

Inaer is Europe’s largest provider of onshore helicopter services. Headquartered in Spain, the company has 1,700 employees and covers 241 bases throughout Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, the UK and Chile.

“Inaer has an important period ahead of it as it operates in a highly fragmented market with long-term growth underpinned by increased outsourcing and security standards. Together with management we have completed six strategic add-on acquisitions to date, and we see room for significant future consolidation opportunities,” said Andrea Bonomi, chairman of Investindustrial, in a statement.

Investindustrial was advised by J.P. Morgan on the transaction and KKR was advised by Credit Suisse.

Earlier this month, KKR joined German- and Nordic-focused private equity firm Triton in its €850 million acquisition of Nordic healthcare platform Ambea, one of the largest healthcare service providers in Europe.

Last year, Investindustrial raised €100 million to fund the expansion of existing assets within its portfolio. The annex fund was to be used to execute buy-and-build acquisitions for companies owned by Investindustrial’s €500 million 2005 fund.