28 Sep Tulsa aviation firm expands under new owners
by Kirby Lee Davis
Published by the Journal Record on 9/28/2008
Quality Aircraft Accessories intends 50-percent growth in its facility and work force under its new ownership team, adding services for two new markets.
An investment group led by the Boston private equity firm Hastings Equity Partners has bought a majority stake in the Tulsa company for an undisclosed price.
“We bought this business because we see a business that’s been focused primarily on the piston engine market and we see an opportunity to move this into turboprop as well as the gas turbine markets,” said Brett Benton, a former Nordam executive who has taken the chief executive post at QAA.
Founded in 1999 by Justin and Lorie Hicks, Quality Aircraft Accessories (www.qualityaircraftaccessories.com) enjoyed rapid growth supplying general aviation accessory parts. It also repairs and refurbishes generators, magnetos, and other aircraft engine components, meeting Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency standards.
“They are exceptional at quality parts overhaul/refurb,” said David L. Perkins Jr., managing director of Tulsa-based Acquisition Advisors, which advised the Hicks family on the recapitalization deal. “And they are fast.
“Planes are expensive,” said Perkins. “To get the most out of them – i.e. their cost – they need to be flying and making money all the time. So, when one is down for repairs, the owners want them done ASAP. QAA accommodates this with speed of service. Customers try them and then return. They also tell others, who try QAA.”
While Quality Aircraft recorded 15-percent revenue growth last year, Benton said that came primarily serving the piston engine market.