BBA completes acquisition of Landmark Av
On Feb 5, BBA Aviation completed the acquisition of Houston TX-based Landmark Av which counted 68 locations among its FBO network. Though recent history, few recall that the sale of Landmark to BBA marks the 2nd sale of the FBO chain by the Carlyle Group, that purchased Landmark back from Chicago's GTCR LLC and Houston-based Platform Partners LLC in 2012. Carlyle originally owned Landmark once before, prior to selling it to Dubai Aerospace Enterprise in 2007, which in turn spun it off to GTCR/Platform in 2007 for a reported $436M. Having grown substantially since that time, BBA’s purchase of Landmark is reported to have cost $2.065B and includes the charter and MRO assets of now-former Landmark.
Per the Dept of Justice ruling of February 3, BBA is already in the process of divesting 6 of the FBO locations where the 2 companies once competed. These locations include ANC, FAT, TRM, SDL, HPN and IAD. Notably, that divesture order specifically excludes the MRO business of Landmark and the charter/mgmt div. As BBA is a UK-based entity, it’s presumed the foreign-ownership issues of the charter aspect of the business have been solved, but have not yet been announced.
For now, though owned by BBA, the 6 FBO locations to be sold will continue to operate as Landmark locations until a viable suitor is announced. By DOJ order there are 90 days for sale of the locations, with an extension period not to exceed 60. Until a buyer is announced, these 6 locations are in a peculiar FBO limbo.
While the FBO industry hasn’t seen a market consolidation of such magnitude in the past, we can look to the Pt 121 airline market as a predictor. Delta—Northwest, United—Continental, US Airways—American and others have rebranded and moved forward as single entities. The BBA acquisition of Landmark is not altogether different in that regard, and while integration and re-branding to the Signature namesake is already underway, it’s a complex process—not something accomplished overnight.