Cardiff Aviation Limited confirms £5 million inward investment
Cardiff Aviation Limited, the aircraft maintenance and flight
training organisation established in July 2012 by Bruce Dickinson
and Mario Fulgoni, has agreed inward investment of £5 million
Finance Wales, the leading UK SME investment company and Welsh
Government subsidiary, has invested £1.6 million (€1.88m/$2.5m),
while the remainder will be provided or facilitated by private or
privately-owned investors including Dickinson and Fulgoni.
Cardiff Aviation's Twin Peaks HQ is part of the Welsh
Government’s St Athan-Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone, and already
home to some of the world's biggest aerospace and defence
"This is a key investment which will allow us to expand the
senior management team, and enable us to establish European
Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part 21 Design Approval to join the
list of maintenance and operational approvals and certification the
Cardiff Aviation group already possesses," said Mario Fulgoni,
joint chief executive of Cardiff Aviation.
"This means Cardiff Aviation Limited will be permitted to
manufacture and certify aircraft parts alongside our maintenance
and training operations, thereby providing us with a full
opportunity to exploit the range of technical equipment and
expertise we acquired in taking over Twin Peaks from the RAF, and
in establishing Cardiff Aviation."
Bruce Dickinson, joint CEO, and vocalist with rock band Iron
Maiden, currently on tour in Europe, added: "The Welsh Government
has played a fantastic role in a difficult economic environment in
providing tremendous support and enthusiasm. Finance Wales'
long-term backing is the fuel not just to put St Athan on the map,
but has the potential to create a consequentially much wider impact
across the entire South Wales aerospace industry.
"As for Cardiff Aviation, the first key role we plan to fill is
that of commercial director. We will follow up with expansion of
the operational and technical teams to address our current growth
trend and increasingly lucrative contracts with both UK and
international aviation businesses. We also plan to invest in more
engineering equipment to supplement and enhance the already
excellent technical capability at Cardiff Aviation."
Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Jeff Cuthbert welcomed
this next phase of Cardiff Aviation’s growth. He said: ”This
latest development is excellent news and will open up exciting new
growth opportunities for Cardiff Aviation and expand their
capability. The aerospace industry operates within one of our key
economic sectors so I am delighted to hear of this latest
investment which also sends out a strong message of confidence in
the St Athan-Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone.”
Finance Wales’ investment was structured by Senior Investment
Executive, Nick Larcombe. He said: “Cardiff Aviation has
taken over some impressive facilities at St Athan which provides an
excellent base to establish a potentially world-beating
business. Mario and Bruce both have a passion for the
aviation industry and the commitment to secure the new clients they
need to drive the business forward.
“Finance Wales’ investment has provided Cardiff Aviation with
the injection of working capital it needs to fund the next stage of
its development. It is now well placed to take advantage of
opportunities in its core European MRO market and as the business
becomes more established there are many new revenue streams it can
Gerallt Jones, head of corporate and banking at Hugh James, the
law firm engaged as legal advisers on the deal, said: “It is
very pleasing to see such an ambitious business establish itself in
Wales and contribute to the rapidly expanding aviation sector in
the region. We have worked with numerous aviation clients in recent
years and we are committed to helping businesses, like Cardiff
Aviation, attract investment and grow in a sector which has the
potential to provide major employment opportunities and
considerable economic benefit to Wales.”
Cardiff Aviation will target the $2 billion European MRO market
which is currently growing at around three per cent a year as
commercial airlines look to outsource fleet maintenance.
Cardiff Aviation was launched in mid-2012 by Iron Maiden singer
and aviation entrepreneur Bruce Dickinson, who is himself a 7,000
hour Boeing 757 pilot, and Mario Fulgoni, a seasoned senior
aviation manager and former airline captain. It has 132,000 square
feet of hangar space capable of accommodating aircraft up to the
size of a Boeing 767-300, and parking for up to 20 narrow bodied
commercial airliners. St Athan has a 6,000 ft runway.
As well as maintenance of airliners and other large aircraft for
several major and independent airlines, Cardiff Aviation has
facilities to complete the full range of ancillary aircraft
maintenance and training activities and has the expertise and
approvals to certify aircraft from many jurisdictions. Cardiff
Aviation group is the cement between acquired, joint-venture and
partner companies - current and to-be-announced - all based under
one roof at Cardiff Aviation's St Athan base.
Finance Wales’ investment in Cardiff Aviation came from the £150
million Wales JEREMIE Fund.