ParkerGale Partners-Up for ATP Expansion

Flightdocs, a portfolio company of Argentum, has been sold to Aircraft Technical Publishers (ATP), a portfolio company of ParkerGale Capital.

As part of this transaction, Accel-KKR has made a minority equity investment in ATP and provided debt financing through Accel-KKR Credit Partners. ParkerGale retains majority equity ownership of ATP.

Flightdocs is a provider of SaaS-based flight department management services that are used by aircraft owners, operators, and manufacturers to track and manage the maintenance and airworthiness of aircraft, comply with safety rules and regulatory guidelines, reduce costs, mitigate risks, and minimize aircraft downtime.

Customers of Flightdocs include Fortune 500 corporate flight departments, air charters, air medical providers, fractional aircraft operators, government agencies and regional carriers. The company, founded in 2003, is based south of Fort Myers in Bonita Springs, Florida. Argentum first invested in Flightdocs in October 2017 and was the company’s first and only outside investor.

“Our partnership with Argentum has been a resounding success,” said Rick Heine, CEO and founder of Flightdocs. “As a rapidly growing and profitable bootstrapped business, Flightdocs did not need any outside funding however Argentum promised to bring more to the table than just growth capital. Argentum directly originated several major strategic and customer wins including Boeing and Textron, sourced a robust pipeline of acquisition targets, and played an instrumental part in accelerating our growth, creating significant value, and achieving a very successful outcome.”

ATP sells parts and maintenance data as well as workflow management software to companies that repair and maintain small airplanes. This is the general aviation market, which includes tens of thousands of maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) and fixed based operator (FBO) service providers. ATP was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in San Francisco. ParkerGale acquired ATP from founding family member and CEO Caroline Daniels in November 2015. In December 2016, ATP acquired Toronto-based CaseBank Technologies, a provider of diagnostic, troubleshooting and fault detection services used in the aviation, aerospace, and defense industries.

“We have been trying to convince Flightdocs’ owners to join the ATP family for a few years, and we are so pleased to have finally put the companies together,” said Devin Mathews, the co-founder of ParkerGale. “We have ambitious plans for ATP as one of the largest aviation software companies and we are excited to have Accel-KKR’s support in the endeavor. We couldn’t be happier with the partnership between our firms.”

According to ParkerGale, the combination of ATP and Flightdocs creates one of the largest providers of software and information services within the aviation industry, supporting over 75,000 maintenance professionals across more than 7,500 customers in over 130 countries.

Chicago-based ParkerGale makes control investments in profitable technology companies that have at least $2 million of EBITDA. Companies with subscription or transaction-based revenue models are preferred. The firm was founded by five former members of Chicago Growth Partners – Devin Mathews, Dave Chandler, Jim Milbery, Kristina Heinze and Ryan Milligan.

“We are excited to support ATP’s acquisition of Flightdocs to create a unique combination of mission-critical solutions for the business aviation industry that help make flying safer and more reliable,” said Joe Porten, a principal at Accel-KKR. “ParkerGale has a track record of investing in quality, founder-run, profitable growth-oriented software companies, which aligns well with Accel-KKR and we look forward to working with both ParkerGale and the ATP management team in the coming months and years.”

Accel-KKR invests in both majority ownership situations via its buyout funds, and minority equity positions through its structured capital funds. The firm invests in middle-market software and IT-enabled business services companies. Accel-KKR was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Menlo Park with additional offices in Atlanta and London.

“It has been a privilege serving as Flightdocs’ partner and we’re grateful to Rick for giving us the opportunity to assist the company during this crucial phase of growth,” said Chris Leong, a partner at Argentum. “We have sincerely enjoyed working side-by-side with the company’s management team and we congratulate the entire Flightdocs organization and wish them continued success as part of the ATP platform.”

New York City-based Argentum invests from $5 million to $15 million of growth equity in B2B software, technology-enabled, and business services companies that have revenues of $5 million to $25 million. In its 30-year history, Argentum has invested in 87 companies and supported nearly 200 add-on acquisitions.

Private Equity Professional | June 25, 2020

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