Aeroplane in Flight

WFW advises Better Capital on its acquisition of Airia / Financière Maz’Air Group

14 May 2012

Watson, Farley & Williams (“WFW”), a leading international law firm, is pleased to announce that it has advised Better Capital on the acquisition of Airia / Financière Maz’Air Group by its shareholding, Gardner Aerospace.

This is Better Capital’s first investment in a business headquartered in France, and by acquiring Airia / Financière Maz’Air Group, Gardner Aerospace has significantly strengthened its position in the aeronautical components sector, and its footprint in France.

The deal, which had the backing of the CIRI (Comité interministériel de restructuration industrielle) required several months of negotiation in order to achieve the complete takeover of all eight companies in the Aria Group, which are located in the South of France, near Toulouse and Marseilles.

The new Group will have 2012 sales in excess of $150m and over 1,300 employees, making Gardner Aerospace Holdings one of Europe’s largest independent suppliers of aerospace parts.

The WFW team advising Better Capital was led by Paris partner Pascal Roux, alongside Lucien Rapp, Romain Girtanner and Eric Villateau. BDO Transaction & Tax Services also provided advice to Better Capital. The Airia Group was advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, and ACDR.

Pascal Roux, corporate and private equity partner at WFW Paris, said: “This acquisition represented a significant development for Gardner Aerospace and Better Capital. It was a complex deal that drew on the strengths of our Paris team in various areas such as private equity, corporate, regulatory and finance. It was a real pleasure working with the Better Capital team dedicated to the project.”

Charles Oakshett, Investment Director at Better Capital LLP, commented: “WFW provided invaluable support to Gardner and Better Capital through each step of the transaction, providing guidance through a complex legal process over many months. The high level of expertise, commitment and perseverance shown was fundamental to the successful outcome of the deal.”