Press

Air ambulance service provider sold out of administration

Friday February 2, 2024

Deal prevents emergency services being grounded

We’re pleased to have completed the sale of the business and assets of Specialist Aviation Services Ltd (the Company) to Gama Aviation – an AIM-listed business aviation specialist headquartered in Farnborough.

Headquartered at Gloucestershire Airport, Staverton, near Cheltenham, Specialist Aviation Services Ltd provided helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) to numerous Air Ambulance Charities, primarily across the South of England. It also provided fleet management and servicing for a range of private organisations both in the UK and in the Middle East where it had operations in Kuwait and in Bahrain.

The Company had incurred operating losses for a number of years and had taken significant steps to address these financial challenges, including seeking new funding.

We were appointed in October 2023 to run an accelerated M&A process with a strategic priority of finding a solution that facilitated the continuation of vital air ambulance operations without disruption.

Following an exhaustive sales process, Restructuring Advisory Partners Andrew Sheridan and Jonathan Dunn were appointed Joint Administrators of the Company on 31 January 2024 and immediately completed its pre-pack sale to Gama Aviation plc. As part of the deal, all but two of the Company’s 184 employees will transfer to Gama Aviation.

Andrew Sheridan, Partner at FRP and Joint Administrator of Specialist Aviation Services Ltd, said:

“This was a complex transaction, in the heavily regulated aviation sector, and key parties included aircraft financiers, global OEMs, overseas government contracts and of course the air ambulance charities. Without the support of the CAA who mobilised a senior team and worked at speed this transaction could not have happened and we wish to extend our gratitude to them, as well as to the Company’s senior management team.

“The goal from the outset of our involvement was to ensure that the vital air ambulance operations continued without disruption, which they did. We take great satisfaction in ensuring that lives continued to be saved throughout the process and wish Gama and its newly acquired operations, highly skilled operatives and pilots, every success in the future.”

Osborne Clarke, with a team led by Nigel Boobier, provided legal support to the Joint Administrators, while Gama Aviation plc was supported by Stephen & Bolton LLP. Gordon Brothers (valuation) and Pinsent Mason (directors duty) also advised sell-side.

We take great satisfaction in ensuring that lives continued to be saved throughout the process. Andrew Sheridan Restructuring Advisory

Related team

Andrew Sheridan

Andrew Sheridan

Andrew Sheridan

  • Partner
  • Restructuring Advisory
  • Bristol
Jonathan Dunn

Jonathan Dunn

Jonathan Dunn

  • Partner
  • Restructuring Advisory
  • Bristol