Ranger Aerospace Re-Enters Airfield Services Arena With Buyout of CAV International

Written by thomas · Filed Under Aeronautics News 

July 21, 2009


Previous Similar Venture was ‘Aircraft Service International Group’

GREENVILLE, S.C., July 20 /PRNewswire/ — Ranger Aerospace, 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.


Ranger International Services Group was formed and is led by Steve Townes, a veteran aerospace CEO who has successfully led similar large ventures. Other follow-on investments and acquisitions are planned as the holding company expands its base, despite launching this venture in the midst of the current malaise that is troubling the world’s economy. Ranger Aerospace has capital backing from institutional private equity partners who share Ranger’s optimistic and contrarian vision that now is an excellent time to be a well capitalized buyer. “Starting with CAV International, we intend to grow the largest and best independent airfield services & logistics company in the industry,” said Townes, adding, “We’ve done this before in our very similar efforts with ASIG.”

Ranger Aerospace owned and grew Aircraft Service International Group (“ASIG”) to 4,250 employees at more than 50 airports in one of Ranger’s previous successful ventures starting in early 1997. ASIG, later sold in July 2001 to a giant British conglomerate, is now one of the largest aviation services companies of its type in the industry, with over 7500 employees at more than 60 major airports in North America and Europe, and continues winning annual quality awards. During Ranger’s ownership, ASIG was doubled in size and won numerous quality awards, including best-in-class rankings in independent surveys of hundreds of airlines.

CAV International operates in the growing military outsourcing arena, specialized in airfield services. CAV has established a strong reputation for quality, reliability, and cost-effectiveness. The company maintains a lean cost model, and is able to offer its Government or Prime Contractor customers an absolute cost advantage combined with measurably superior quality metrics on a consistent basis. In 2008, CAV performed over 625,000 man-hours of quality-driven professional services, handled over 18,000 USAF airplanes across 19 time zones, processed over 850,000 in-transit military passengers, and managed over 140,000 tons of cargo. Considered to be experts at Airfield Services & Logistics, the majority of CAV’s contracts currently service the US Transportation Command and Air Mobility Command at numerous locations. All of DOD’s transport-sized aircraft, combined with the “CRAF” fleet of civilian airliners, together are the primary fleet that CAV serves with its many capabilities, and that combined airlift represents, by far, the “largest airline in the world.”

In its previous successfully exited consolidations, Ranger Aerospace made significant value enhancements in the airfield services companies that it operated, driving business development via investments in people initiatives, capital equipment, quality systems, process improvements, and customer service. The Chief Operating Officer of Ranger International is Bill McLendon, also an experienced veteran of both aerospace and private equity ventures, including with Ranger. McLendon, the #1 graduate in his class from the US Air Force Academy and a Rhodes Scholar, was recently appointed by Ranger’s board as the COO of CAV International. Ranger’s Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Hartman, another Ranger veteran, is a highly experienced CPA and MBA with CFO credits from BBA Aviation, Signature Flight Support, and ASIG. The founder of CAV, Mr. Carroll Vaughan, remains in his role as President of that Ranger unit, and is a substantial stakeholder in this growth enterprise.

Steve Townes, a West Point graduate, is a well known aerospace entrepreneur who founded Ranger Aerospace in early 1997. In addition to ASIG, Ranger’s most successfully exited venture was the acquisition and growth of Keystone Helicopter Corporation, where Townes was Chairman & CEO. Keystone was tripled in size and profits under Ranger Aerospace, and later sold in late 2005 for a strategic premium to the Sikorsky division of United Technologies. Ranger has transacted over $340 Million of buying, investing, and divesting maneuvers since inception, and has yielded returns to its first-round equity holders as high as 51% “IRR” in its best ventures. The ASIG venture also included publicly-financed bonds (regulated by the SEC), and the Keystone “HeliPlex facility that Ranger built was partially financed with the State of Pennsylvania. Ranger has created more than 2,000 aggregate new jobs in its previous ventures so far. In each of these two previous Ranger cases (ASIG and Keystone), most of the value creation occurred through internal improvements and aggressive growth of the initial platform company, combined with complementary acquisitions. In all of its operations, Ranger enforces a serious and continuous focus on Quality, Safety, and F.A.R. Compliance.

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