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Tue 9 Dec 2014 01:27 PM

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Gama Aviation plans $200m listing on London Stock Exchange

Crescent Enterprises announces that it will convert its equity stake in Gama Aviation into shares

Gama Aviation plans $200m listing on London Stock Exchange

Crescent Enterprises on Tuesday announced that it will convert its equity stake in Gama Aviation, a global business aviation services organisation, into shares in Gama Aviation Plc, after a reverse takeover of Hangar 8 Plc.

Subject to completion in early January, the enlarged public entity will list with an expected market capitalisation £130m ($200m).

The deal comes ahead of a period of rapid anticipated growth in the global and regional business aviation sector. Honeywell Aerospace’s 2014 Global Business Aviation Forecast predicts an average annual growth globally of 4 percent over the next ten years with up to 9,450 new business jets worth a total of $280 billion expected to be delivered up to 2024.

The Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) forecasts the value of the business aviation industry in the region will reach $1.3 billion by 2020, up more than 150 per cent from current levels.

Crescent Enterprises has been involved with the aviation group since 2006, when Gama Aviation started managing the corporate jets of the Crescent Group. In December 2007, Crescent Investments, the investment division of Crescent Enterprises, invested in Gama Aviation alongside Private Equity partners, Growthgate Capital, and a private investor’s group.

Crescent Enterprises has played an active role in Gama Aviation’s strategic direction through Board and Executive Committee representation. Crescent Enterprises also offers insight and support for Gama Aviation’s operations in the Middle East by providing a regionally focused perspective through the UAE-based firm’s long-standing history and understanding of the region.

Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises, said: “We are proud to have been part of Gama Aviation’s remarkable journey over the past seven years as the company has grown into one of the world’s most successful and respected private aviation operators. As we have seen first-hand in the Middle East, Gama Aviation’s growth potential is unbounded and its merger with Hangar 8 Plc will create the ideal platform for continued future success.”

Marwan Khalek, CEO of Gama Aviation, said: “The two businesses have been pursuing similar growth strategies built on a profitable and robust business model. Bringing them together will create a business of significant scale and one with unparalleled breadth of geographical coverage and depth of capability and service.

“Crescent Enterprises has been an invaluable strategic partner for nearly a decade and has helped Gama Aviation achieve a market leadership position in the Gulf, including its support of the recent opening of our world-class private aviation hub in Sharjah. On behalf of the board of Gama Aviation, I would like to thank all of our loyal shareholders and wish them continued success as shareholders of Gama Aviation Plc.”

Gama Aviation Plc will have 144 aircraft under management, operating from 44 different locations in 15 countries across 5 continents with a strong presence in North America, the UK, Continental Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and South America. Its Middle East and North Africa headquarters are in Sharjah, UAE, and in July 2014, Gama Aviation opened a full service private aviation hub at Sharjah International Airport.

Gama Aviation will offer a comprehensive service, operating and supporting aircraft from all major manufacturers and classes of private jet aircraft along with charter, maintenance, engineering design, FBO executive handling, and aviation software services.

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