Genesis Park prepares aviation acquisition fund | News | Airfinance Journal

Genesis Park prepares aviation acquisition fund

Genesis Park Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) backed by an all-star aviation management team, filed an S-1 registration on 25 September with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, providing information about its go-to-market plans in advance of an initial public offering.

In the filing, the SPAC said it would target aviation businesses with enterprise values between $500 million and $1 billion, in fields including leasing, aircraft management, maintenance, distribution, supply chain management, airport services and technology, as well as individual operators.

“We believe there are a significant number of actionable opportunities due to the large percentage of private equity-based businesses operating in the aerospace and aviation services sectors and intend to capitalise on current market dynamics to acquire businesses in the sector at attractive valuations,” said the filing.

Although the Covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected the aerospace and aviation industries, “strong underlying fundamentals and expected recovery create a unique opportunity” to invest in the industry, it stated.

“Our strategy is to acquire a leading market participant that has room to grow through commercial and operational improvements and further acquisitions as the overall aerospace and aviation industries recover.”

The blank-cheque vehicle plans to ride the recent wave of SPAC popularity with investors and trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker 'GNPK'.

The management team includes David Siegel, who will serve as chairman of the board of directors. Siegel has 30 years of experience in the aerospace and aviation industries and possesses deep relationships across the entire aerospace supply chain. He currently serves as executive chairman of Sun Country Airlines, and as chairman of Volotea. Since October 2017, Siegel has acted as a senior adviser for Apollo Global Management.

Paul Hobby, will serve as chief executive officer (CEO) and director. He is a founding partner at Genesis Park, a Houston-based private equity firm specialising in growth businesses, distressed situations and public company carve-outs.

Jonathan Baliff will serve as president, chief financial officer (CFO) and director. Most recently, Baliff was at Bristow, the world’s largest commercial helicopter and industrial aviation company serving the energy and government sectors, where he served first as CFO from 2010 to 2014 and then as president and CEO from 2014 to 2018.

Gil West will serve as a director. In his 30-year career, West has held a multitude of leadership roles across the aerospace and aviation industries, including positions at Boeing, Delta Air Lines, Northwest and United Airlines.

Richard Anderson will serve as a director. Anderson served as CEO of Delta from September 2007 to May 2016 and was executive chairman from May 2016 until his retirement in October 2016.

Andrea Fischer Newman also will serve as a director. For over 25 years, she has worked at the intersection of business, law, policy and politics. From 2008 to 2017, she served as senior vice-president of government affairs at Delta.

Thomas Friedkin will serve as another director. He is currently chairman and chief executive officer of The Friedkin Group, a privately held consortium of businesses and investments in the automotive, entertainment and hospitality industries.

The advisory committee includes: Nina Jonsson, a senior international aviation executive with over 30 years of industry experience, including over 20 years at Air France-KLM, United, US Airways and Delta; John Bolton, who spent seven years as president of Honeywell’s Aerospace Air Transport & Regional business; and Dave Davis, who serves as president, CFO and member of the board of directors of Sun Country Airlines, and former CFO of Northwest and US Airways.

SPACs in the aviation market gained recognition when Richard Branson pitched a $400 million vehicle that would search for opportunities to expand the Virgin Group’s positioning in the USA.

SPACs raise money from investors to acquire companies and take them public. Supporters of the vehicles say they are an easier way for companies to go public compared with traditional initial public offerings.

Genesis Park, the sponsor, and Jefferies, an underwriter for this offering, have agreed to purchase an aggregate of 6,000,000 warrants (or 6,600,000 warrants if the over-allotment option is exercised in full) at a price of $1 per warrant, each exercisable to purchase one class A ordinary share at a price of $11.50 per share, in a private placement that will close simultaneously with the closing of the offering.

Genesis Park Acquisition expects to receive $200 million, or $230 million if the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full, from the offering and the sale of private placement warrants.

“We expect the Class A ordinary shares and warrants comprising the units will begin separate trading on the 52nd day following the date of this prospectus... Once the securities comprising the units begin separate trading, we expect that the Class A ordinary shares and warrants will be listed on the NYSE under the symbols 'GNPK' and 'GNPK WS', respectively.”

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