LOS ANGELES – April 10, 2012 – Vance Street Capital LLC (“Vance Street”) announced today that it has invested in Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc. (“Leading Edge” or the “Company”). Leading Edge, headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, is recognized as the largest independent painter of commercial and military aircraft in the United States. The Company maintains long-term contracts to paint aircraft for several of the largest airlines and aircraft OEMs in the world. The Company’s executive management team invested in the Company alongside Vance Street. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Leading Edge is an FAA-certified Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (“MRO”) company specializing in aviation paint and coatings. Founded in 1989 as an aircraft detailing business based at Orange County’s John Wayne International Airport, Leading Edge is now the largest independent painter of jet aircraft and has facilities throughout the United States. Approximately 95% of the Company’s revenues come from paint and coatings and the remaining 5% come from ancillary MRO services (e.g. interiors, fuel-system services). The Company’s customer base includes major US and international airlines, leading commercial aircraft OEMs and military aerospace OEMs. On April 3, 2012 Aviation Week magazine announced that Leading Edge was one of four recipients of its MRO of the Year Awards for outstanding achievement and innovation in aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul.
The Company’s Founder and CEO, Mike Manclark, stated “we are excited to announce our partnership with Vance Street. Leading Edge is poised for significant growth and with the help of Vance Street’s strategic and financial resources, our management team is confident that we can take this Company to the next level.” Mike Manclark was recently honored with the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award from the Orange County Business Journal.
Vance Street Capital has significant experience investing in high-growth aerospace and defense companies and is excited by the opportunity to provide growth capital to Leading Edge. Richard Crowell, Vance Street Capital Managing Member, stated, “we are thrilled to partner with Leading Edge. Leading Edge has established itself as the leader in the growing aircraft paint market and we look forward to supporting management as they continue to grow the Company in this and other markets.”
Vance Street was represented by law firm O’Melveny & Myers. Leading Edge was represented by law firm Hodell Briggs Winter.
About Leading Edge
Servicing commercial, military and VIP aircraft at eight locations, Leading Edge delivers an extensive range of commercial services including aircraft interior and exterior paint, OEM production coatings application support, mod-center paint services support, VIP aircraft interior completions and exterior paint, aviation graphics, aircraft weighing, long and short term aircraft storage, field audits, fleet assessments, interior deep cleaning, and aircraft exterior wash and polish.
Leading Edge is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California and has operations throughout the US and in Asia. For more information visit: www.leadingedgecorp.com.
About Vance Street Capital
Vance Street Capital is a Los Angeles based private equity firm with $320 million of committed capital. Vance Street makes control investments in middle market companies with enterprise values up to $200 million. Preferred industries include aerospace & defense, healthcare and life sciences, precision manufacturing, medical components and devices, general industrial and business services. For over two decades, Vance partners have specialized in middle market investing and are committed to supporting our management teams with resources to accelerate revenue growth, improve operations and acquire strategic assets. Vance Street has extensive experience partnering with management, family owners and other co-investors to build leading middle market companies. For more information please visit: www.vancestreetcapital.com.