Announced today, Thomas Flohr’s Vista Global has acquired XOJET, the third largest US business jet charter operator by flight hours.
Vista Global says that the acquisition of XOJET will allow it to expand further in the US. It launched VistaJet in America in September 2013.
Nine days ago, on September 11, 2018, Thomas Flohr announced the launch of Vista Global Holding (“Vista Global”), headquartered at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) which “will spearhead the consolidation of the fragmented and expanding business aviation market.”
The group owns VistaJet, Vista Lease, TechX and at the closing of this newly announced transaction, XOJET’s fleet and commercial operations.
According to the Vista Global Holding press release, “Vista Global’s fleets will provide every customer with asset-lite solutions to fly point to point anytime, anywhere at a moment’s notice – either with guaranteed aircraft availability or On Demand. In addition, Vista Global will offer the very first worldwide leasing and financing service for customer looking to purchase a dedicated aircraft. Complementing its consumer and trade offer, Vista Global will also support aviation companies looking to improve services to their clients through the most advanced technology, providing an end to end platform in a very fragmented global operator marketplace.”
Regarding the XOJET acquisition, “The journey started when I first saw an opportunity in the fragmented and inconsistent offering across the industry. Vista Global’s mission is to provide customer-centric solutions for every segment of business aviation and today’s announcement is a major step in that direction,” said Thomas Flohr, Vista Global founder and chairman. “This acquisition is the perfect addition to our global business. XOJET’s strength in North America and its reputation for offering great value perfectly complement VistaJet and the other businesses in the group.”
Bradley Stewart, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of XOJET, said: “I am incredibly proud to be making today’s announcement, which will see our company become part of a fantastic family of brands. Becoming part of Vista Global will enable XOJET to achieve our dream of becoming a truly global business, providing us with the very best technology and infrastructure. I believe that Vista Global and XOJET are fundamentally aligned in our commitment to serving clients. I am looking forward to working with the Vista Global team and its companies in the future.”
XOJET and VistaJet’s full fleets are available in the Floating Fleet section of FlightList PRO‘s multi-search platform along with all 533 floating fleet aircraft and 37 operators.
XOJET will continue to operate independently, under a new joint venture company, with control and leadership remaining in US hands to meet airline ownership regulations. The carrier has a fleet of 44 business jets, which includes 27 Cessna Citation Xs.
The acquisition is a major step forward for Vista Global, allowing the group to build on its existing global offering and to reinforce its existing position in North America, the largest business aviation market in the world. Following today’s announcement and upon closing of the acquisition, Vista Global will have 1,500 employees in 20 offices worldwide according to its press release.
Corporate Jet Investor reports that 10 companies were originally interested in acquiring the company, with a final round of bidding including three companies. Shareholders first held talks during the 2017 NBAA convention.
XOJET’s largest shareholders were TPG, one of the world’s most-successful aviation investors, and Mubadalla, the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi. Although TPG was the largest shareholder, Mubadalla financed the fleet and held significant amounts of XOJET debt.
The acquisition price or other conditions has not been announced.
ARGUS says that XOJET flew 46,739 flight hours in the first six months of 2018. GAMA Aviation (which operates for itself and for membership provider Wheels Up) flew 72,885 hours followed by Executive Jet Management with 58,305 hours.
Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. There is no financing condition to the transaction. The transaction is currently expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018. XOJET’s regulated air carrier will be operated in a joint venture under U.S. control and leadership, in accordance with U.S. Department of Transportation criteria.
Sources: Company Press Release and Corporate Jet Investor’s 9/20/18 article by Alud Davies.
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