H.I.G. Capital News


Doug Berman
Managing Director

Bret Wiener

H.I.G. Capital, L.L.C.
1001 Brickell Bay Drive
Miami, FL 33131
P 305.379.2322

H.I.G. Capital Completes Acquisition of Flight Options

Flight Options Announces an Order for Nearly $1 Billion Worth of Phenom 300 Aircraft from Embraer

MIAMI - November 30, 2007 - H.I.G. Capital, LLC, a leading global private equity firm, announced today that it has completed the previously announced acquisition of Flight Options LLC from Raytheon Company. Terms were not disclosed. In conjunction with the closing of the transaction, Flight Options announced it has placed an order for nearly $1 billion worth of Phenom 300 light-jets with Embraer. The best-in-class Phenom 300 features unmatched amenities and low operating costs. The aircraft was specifically engineered for high utilization and reliability; characteristics that make it a perfect match for the fractional aircraft ownership market. The transaction provides strong evidence of the continued growth of the private jet industry, and spotlights Flight Options’ emergence as the industry’s leading innovator.

Flight Options, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is a leading private jet aviation company that operates a fleet of 130 luxury aircraft to provide a full suite of services to businesses and high net worth individuals. The Company currently serves its customers primarily through fractional ownership programs and its JetPASS pre-paid card plan. In 2007, Flight Options also began offering aircraft management services - complementary offerings to better leverage the Company’s aircraft fleet and operating infrastructure.

Flight Options has earned a reputation as a leader and innovator within the private aviation industry with programs that emphasize customer service and flexibility. The Company provides its personalized service to owners and members from airport and FBO locations across United States and has strategically located service and maintenance operations in Cleveland, Ohio; Las Vegas, Nevada; Sacramento, California; Teterboro, New Jersey; and West Palm Beach, Florida. Flight Options’ current fleet consists of a full range of aircraft types, including Hawker 400XP, Hawker 850XP, Citation X and Embraer Legacy models. The Company is also an industry leader in private aviation safety. Flight Options is the first fractional provider to implement the FAA’s Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) for its pilots and maintenance professionals and the only fractional provider selected by the FAA to partner and participate in the development and implementation of the next generation Safety Management System (SMS), soon to be required for all air service providers.

"H.I.G. demonstrates a commitment to growth and excellence that mirrors Flight Options’ own values and approach and we look forward to working with them to further grow the Company," said S. Michael Scheeringa, Chief Executive Officer of Flight Options. "The Embraer order, by far the largest in Flight Options’ history, is an example of this commitment and will continue to modernize our fleet and provide our customers with best in class aircraft."

"We are very excited about the future of Flight Options in the dynamic private jet aviation market," said Doug Berman, Executive Managing Director of H.I.G. "We are partnering with an exceptional team and we share their vision of providing innovative solutions and the highest levels of value, service and safety. Our goal is to grow the business and the Phenom 300 order is just the first step in our long term plan. We look forward to making a mark in the industry."

H.I.G. Capital has extensive experience investing in the aviation industry. Its current portfolio of companies includes:

  • Amerijet International, a full-service global logistics and transportation provider, offering scheduled air cargo service to 30 destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America, utilizing its fleet of Boeing aircraft.
  • Rotorcraft Leasing Company, the largest privately-held helicopter operator in the Gulf of Mexico region with a fleet of approximately 100 helicopters. Rotorcraft is certified by the FAA to operate helicopter charters and leases under an FAR 135 certification.
  • Gemini Air Cargo, an air cargo ACMI operator with a fleet of MD-11 and DC-10-30 freighters.

About Flight Options
Flight Options is a leading provider of private aviation services in North America. Flight Options has been a pioneer in the private jet industry since the founding of predecessors Flight Options International in 1998 and Raytheon Travel Air in 1997. The two predecessor companies combined operations in 2002. Cleveland, Ohio-based Flight Options offers the complete spectrum of programs from Fractional First™ ownership to leasing, aircraft management, and JetPASS Ultimate Travel membership. The company is an industry leader in private aviation safety as well, having been selected by the FAA to partner and participate in the development and implementation of a formal Safety Management System (SMS) soon to be required for all air service providers. For more information please refer to the Flight Options website at www.flightoptions.com.

About H.I.G. Capital
H.I.G. Capital is a leading global private equity investment firm with more than $4 billion of equity capital under management. Based in Miami, and with offices in Atlanta, Boston, and San Francisco in the U.S., as well as affiliate offices in London, Hamburg and Paris in Europe, H.I.G. specializes in providing capital to small and medium-sized companies with attractive growth potential. H.I.G. invests in management-led buyouts and recapitalizations of profitable and well managed manufacturing or service businesses. H.I.G. also has extensive experience with financial restructurings and operational turnarounds. Since its founding, H.I.G. has completed more than 75 transactions. The firm’s current portfolio includes companies with combined revenues in excess of $7 billion. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at www.higcapital.com.