Skift Take

No niche purchase this time round, but a more rounded investment in a wide-ranging aerospace business group. Find out more when Certares founder Greg O’Hara speaks at Skift Global Forum in New York next week.

Certares entered a relatively quiet period after its last deal, investing in U.S. car rental company Hertz in May to help fund its exit from bankruptcy. That followed deals with Getaway and G Adventures in the months before.

Now it’s back on the radar with a $354 million investment in Avia Solutions Group.

Certares founder Greg O’Hara — who will be speaking in person at Skift Global Forum in New York next week — previously told Skift his company had raised more money over the past 12 months than in the previous eight years.

This latest investment is part of a strategic partnership with Avia Solutions Group, which employs 7,000 people across 100 offices around the world. Its activities span
aircraft leasing and trading, maintenance, charter and cargo aviation, and pilot and crew training.

Widening the Net

The US-based investment specialist has a varied travel portfolio, and its latest move keeps it on a path to becoming a next-generation travel powerhouse. Many of Avia Solutions Group’s services, which also include business aviation and VIP airline procurement, sit well with other Certares interests. Certares heads a group that has a 50 percent stake in American Express Global Business Travel, while its owns Internova Travel Group, for example.

Hear Certares Founder Greg O’Hara Speak In Person at Skift Global Forum in NYC September 21-23

However, Certares’ structured equity investment will fund growth for Avia’s passenger and cargo aviation, maintenance and engineering, crew training, ground handling and logistics divisions, according to the two companies. The net proceeds will also be used to fund strategic acquisitions, capital expenditures and general corporate purposes.

“This important partnership marks the beginning of Avia Solutions Group’s next long-term development stage and the continuation of the growth of our global partnership network,” said Gediminas Ziemelis, founder and chairman of the board of directors of Avia Solutions Group.

The transaction is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of this year.

Hear Certares Founder Greg O’Hara Speak In Person at Skift Global Forum in NYC September 21-23

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Tags: american express global business travel, certares, g adventures, getaway, greg o'hara, hertz, sgf2021, skift live

Photo credit: Avia Solutions Group owns aerospace servicing firm Aviator. Avia Solutions Group

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