Air Charter
Air Charter acquires Baines SimmonsTwitter/Air Partner USA

Air charter company Air Partner Plc has acquired aviation safety adviser Baines Simmons for £6m (€8.5m, $9.4m) in a bid to bolster its aviation offering.

The consideration for the acquisition comprised of a £5.4m cash payment paid on completion and a deferred payment of up to £0.6m payable in January 2018 dependent on performance criteria. Air Partner sourced the funds from a combination of its existing cash resources and a £3.6m debt facility provided by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Founded in 2001, Baines Simmons is a consultant and adviser to more than 750 aviation organisations and more than 40 aviation authorities, Air Partner said. The firm specialises in aviation regulation, compliance and safety management.

Air Partner said Baines Simmons would help extend its service and product capabilities, while complementing and enhancing its existing broking business.

Its civil and military clients include 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).

Headquarters to remain in Surrey

Following the 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. The company's headquarters will remain at Fairoaks Airport in Surrey.

Baines Simmons is the second acquisition made by the company in 2015, following the purchase of Cabot Aviation in May. Air Partner expects the acquisition to be earnings enhancing in its first full year of ownership. For the year ended on 31 December 2014, Baines Simmons recorded a profit before tax of £0.7m on revenues of £5.4m.

"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," Mark Briffa, CEO of Air Partner, said in a statement.

"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."

"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."