Kenn Ricci, the principal of Directional Aviation says, he is looking to make some deals in excess of $100 million. His focus is electric aviation, sustainable aviation, and other emerging technologies.
Directional’s OneSky Flight unit houses Flexjet, the number two seller of fractional private jet shares, Sentient Jet, the company that invented jet cards, and PrivateFly, an on-demand charter broker focused on Europe and international markets. All three came via acquisitions over the past decade. More recently, OneSky launched a premium on-demand brokerage, FXAIR.
Ricci has created a special purpose acquisition company as his vehicle and is targeting larger acquisitions than in the past, according to an interview with Corporate Jet Investor. A spokesperson confirmed the contents of the report.
“We typically have around $30 million to invest in equity in each new company. With leverage we can make that up to around $100 million or $150 million…There are private equity companies interested in several billion-dollar companies, but there is a gap between what we do and what the large funds are doing. That is why we have filed for a SPAC,” he told the U.K.-based aviation journal.
Directional’s holdings also include Nextant Aerospace, which remanufactures private aircraft, Constant Aviation, a MRO, Sojourn Aviation, an aircraft sales and brokerage company, and Simcom, which provides pilot training, among others.
The website of the Security and Exchange Commission shows a filing registering Zanite Acquisition Corporation was made on Sept. 4, 2020.
It’s the third SPAC related to private aviation filed in the last 45 days. In August, Surf Air said it intended to go public and raise $200 million. Last month, a SPAC based in Houston from Genesis Park Acquisition Corp. listed private aviation operators as a possible target.
Over the past year-and-a-half, the Part 135 charter market has been frothing. Wheels Up has rolled up Delta Private Jets, Gama Aviation Signature and TMC Jets, and now has the second largest for hire fleet behind NetJets. Jet Linx Aviation, a private jet operator that sells jet cards on aircraft it manages, has expanded its fleet by purchasing the management contracts and charter business from Elliott Aviation and Meridian. Stay tuned!