AE Industrial Partners to Buy Rotocraft Services Provider Columbia Helicopters

Jeff Brody

Private equity firm AE Industrial Partners has agreed to acquire heavy-lift rotorcraft manufacturing and operations services provider Columbia Helicopters for an undisclosed amount.

AEI said Thursday Steve Bandy will continue to lead Columbia Helicopters as CEO and Nancy Lematta will maintain a “significant ownership position” as part of the deal.

Both companies expect to close the transaction later this year.

Kirk Konert, a principal at AEI, said the investment company seeks to build on Columbia Helicopters’ six decades of aviation services experience and expand offerings into new markets.

Kirkland & Ellis acted as legal adviser to AEI while Rothschild & Co. and PwC served as its financial advisers. Columbia Helicopters’ legal and financial advisers in the transaction were Tonkon Torp and Greenhill & Co., respectively.

Columbia Helicopters is headquartered in Aurora, Ore., and has a fleet of helicopters built to transport cargo and passengers. The company also provides maintenance, repair, overhaul and life cycle support services to the public and private sectors.

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