Coronavirus: Trenchard auction underlines aviation pain

22 May 2020, 12:19 | Updated: 22 May 2020, 14:38

The owner of a major provider of aircraft life-vest pouches and cockpit maintenance services is pursuing a quickfire sale, underlining the pain being inflicted by the coronavirus on the aviation industry supply chain.

Sky News has learnt that Trenchard Aviation, which is owned by the private equity firm Graphite Capital, has approached a string of investors about a potential deal.

Graphite has appointed FRP Advisory to handle the process.

Trenchard was created in 2015 from the buyout group's purchases of Aero-Technics and Airbase, which provide a range of cabin maintenance and refurbishment services.

The company has a roughly 20% share of the UK market, and is based at sites close to three of Britain's biggest airports: Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester.

Sources said several million pounds of new funding would be required to support the business through a period in which demand for its services has fallen sharply.

The latest evidence of COVID-19's disastrous impact on global aviation came this week when Rolls-Royce Holdings said it would slash at least 9,000 jobs, mainly in its civil aerospace business.

Government plans for a 14-day quarantine period have deepened the gloom engulfing the sector.

FRP has asked for bidders to table proposals in early June, according to insiders.

Graphite declined to comment on Friday.