Sterling Partners Acquires Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology

Sterling Partners Acquires Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology

Sterling Partners has acquired Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology from majority owners John Walker, Blaine Walker and Justin Walker.

Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology is an aviation-maintenance school for training pilots, aviation technicians and nondestructive testing professionals.  The school is a bachelor’s degree-granting institution and has graduated approximately 90,000 alumni from all 50 states and 62 foreign nations since its founding in 1928.  Spartan is based in Tulsa, OK (

Spartan president and CEO Jeremy Gibson will maintain an ownership stake in the business and will continue in his post.  “Although I was approached by several firms, we chose Sterling Partners because of its deep experience in building top-quality institutions,” said Mr. Gibson, who has been Spartan’s president and CEO since April 2007.  “Sterling will help us develop Spartan’s infrastructure more quickly and help us expand to new regions, while continuing to contribute to the increased global demand for aviation and nondestructive testing technicians.”

“We believe Spartan is a clear leader in the aviation and nondestructive testing higher education space, with a decades-long reputation for high-quality education and a very strong job placement record.  It exemplifies Sterling Partners’ focus on investing in education institutions that provide excellent outcomes for their students,” said Jason Rosenberg, a Sterling Partners principal.  “Spartan students get great jobs, and there will be a significant shortage of aviation technicians, pilots and nondestructive testing professionals in this country and abroad.  Spartan stands uniquely qualified to help meet the needs of the industry by continuing to produce skilled graduates. We look forward to partnering with Spartan CEO Jeremy Gibson to continue to build Spartan and help meet the growing needs of the industry.”

Sterling Partners invests growth capital in industries with positive, long-term trends and provides ongoing support to management through a dedicated team of industry veterans, operators, strategy experts and human capital professionals. Sectors of interest include education, healthcare and business services. The firm has offices in Chicago, Baltimore, and Miami (

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada provided senior debt financing for the acquisition.

© 2013 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 1-9-13

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