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Blackstone (BX) Acquires Controlling Stake in Two Maldives Seaplane Ops

February 4, 2013 7:09 AM EST Send to a Friend
Blackstone (NYSE: BX) announced that a private equity fund managed by Blackstone on behalf of its private equity investors has acquired a controlling interest in two Maldives-based seaplane operators – Maldivian Air Taxi “MAT” and Trans Maldivian Airways “TMA”. Following the transaction, Mr. Lars Erik Nielsen (Founder, MAT), Mr. Lars Petré and Mr. Hussain Afeef (majority shareholders, TMA) will retain a substantial shareholding and continue to play a significant role in the companies, including serving as directors on the board. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Maldives is a popular tourist destination with over 1,000 islands. With a unique ‘one–island one–resort’ concept, Maldives has witnessed a strong increase in tourist arrivals over the last ten years with 2012 witnessing an all-time high tourist arrival of almost one million tourists. Established in 1989, TMA is the oldest air services operator in the Maldives and operates over 20 seaplanes. Established in 1992, Maldivian Air Taxi has grown to become the biggest seaplane operator in the world. Together the two airlines will operate 44 seaplanes and conduct well over 100,000 flights per year making them the world’s largest Twin Otter operator on land or sea. MAT and TMA connect resort islands with the Hulhule International airport. Both airlines are based on the Hulhule Airport Island in Maldives and together employ over 900 people.

Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB) and HSBC (NYSE: HBC) served as buy-side advisors on the transaction. The sellers were advised by Churchill Capital and Northern Lights.




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Corporate News, Mergers and Acquisitions, Private Equity

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Deutsche Bank, Churchill Financial Group, HSBC

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