Above: AIM Altitude’s new £11m cabin interior manufacturing facility at Bournemouth Airport, which is currently under construction
November 23, 2015: Today has seen another big corporate acquisition in the aircraft interiors world. It is not related to the usual suspects this time though: it is the acquisition of AIM Altitude by Chinese multinational aviation company, AVIC Aerospace International Corporation (AVIC).
The announcement follows the September 2014 acquisition of Altitude Aerospace by AIM Aviation, which created the AIM Altitude brand. The two companies merged their capabilities to give them the ability to design and supply entire cabin interiors around the world.
Other recent activities at AIM Altitude include the consolidation of its numerous Bournemouth, UK-based premises into one GB£11m (Euro15.5m), 168,000 square-meter facility, providing 30% additional capacity for the design, engineering and manufacture of aircraft cabin interiors. This development at Bournemouth was preceded by “substantial” investment at AIM Altitude’s Byfleet facility to extend its galleys and stowages factory and testing facilities.
Commenting on the AVIC deal, Mark Edwards, CEO of AIM Altitude said, “This is a very exciting development for AIM Altitude as it combines our design, engineering and manufacturing expertise with the strengths of a major strategic aerospace business. We look forward to working with our new owners to grow the business further.”
AIM Altitude will become a wholly owned subsidiary of AVIC and will continue to operate as it does today, under the AIM Altitude brand, for existing and new airline customers in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, as well as in China and Asia Pacific.
Xu Tongyu, vice president of AVIC International added, “AVIC International today is a leading diverse multinational corporation covering the whole aviation industry and value chain. AIM Altitude’s expertise in cabin interiors will further extend our core capabilities and international competitiveness. We look forward to welcoming the AIM Altitude team and employees into the group.”
The shareholders of AIM Altitude, TowerBrook Capital Partners, L.P. (TowerBrook), have officially announced their signing of the agreement with AVIC. During TowerBrook’s ownership, AIM Altitude has strengthened its relationship with leading aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus and with major global airlines including Emirates and Qatar Airways. The acquisition of Altitude from Air New Zealand in 2014, helped position AIM Altitude as a key partner for Boeing’s 777 aircraft, while the relationship with Airbus was strengthened further through work on new Airbus long-range platforms.
The appointments of senior aviation industry leaders, Dave Barger (formerly CEO of JetBlue) and Steve Ridgway CBE (formerly CEO of Virgin Atlantic) as non-executive directors, and of Andy Stevens, former CEO of Cobham plc, as chairman on AIM Altitude’s Board, brought their substantial experience and knowledge to the business.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to complete in January 2016.