ExecuJet sale creates massive new player in global private jet sector
ExecuJet, the Swiss private jet business, has been sold by owners including financier Dermot Desmond.
Luxembourg-based Luxaviation has bought the firm, creating the world's second largest business jet operator.
Mr Desmond bought a majority stake in Zurich-headquartered ExecuJet in 2007, just as the market for private jet usage peaked.
The sector endured a difficult time following the financial crisis.
However, it's been rumoured that Mr Desmond is still making a profit on his investment. It's understood that he owned two-thirds of the business.
ExecuJet was founded in 1991 and South African Niall Olver was appointed chief executive in 1993.
Mr Olver stayed with the business until its sale. He'll continue as an adviser to the firm.
In the past 20 years, ExecuJet expanded to employ about 1,000 people. It manages a fleet of 165 aircraft, including Boeing business jets and Gulfstreams on behalf of owners.
Luxaviation employs 520 people and has about 100 aircraft.
Mr Olver said the sale of ExecuJet marks another chapter in its history. "This market consolidation will bring a range of benefits to ExecuJet and its clients, including the sharing of local knowledge and expertise with sister companies in the Luxaviation group," he said.
Patrick Hansen, the chief executive of Luxaviation, said the ExecuJet acquisition will expand the company's global reach.
"ExecuJet's operations give us a strong presence in some of the world's fastest-growing business aviation markets, including Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, as well as a significantly larger managed fleet," he said.