Renovus Capital Partners and Graycliff Partners Acquire
Hillsboro Aero Academy, a Leading Provider of Pilot Training

Founded in January 2010, Renovus Capital Partners is a $185 million, education-focused private equity fund based in Wynnewood, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia.  Renovus invests in small and mid-sized businesses within the education sector, including both educational institutions and companies that provide these institutions with technology, content and services.  The Fund is particularly interested in growth-oriented businesses, and the Renovus team actively partners with management to build its portfolio companies through acquisitions, new strategic initiatives and operational improvements.  The Renovus team has a combined 48 years of experience investing in the education sector and the founding partners have been working together since 2005.   Renovus is a licensed SBIC.
Graycliff Partners is an independent investment firm focusing on middle market private equity and mezzanine investments in the United States and Latin America.  Graycliff Partners LP is an SEC-registered investment advisor under the US Investment Advisors Act of 1940, as amended.  Since 1991, the Graycliff Partners team, previously operating as HSBC Capital, has invested over $1 billion and completed over 80 transactions.  With offices in New York and São Paulo, Graycliff Partners seeks to partner with companies led by strong, entrepreneurial management teams, providing capital for acquisitions, management buyouts, recapitalizations, growth and expansion.  
Brad Whitman
Atif Gilani
Jesse Serventi
Fred Hill
Bill Landman


December 4, 2014, Wynnewood, PA - Renovus Capital Partners (“Renovus”) announced today the acquisition of Hillsboro Aero Academy, LLC (“Hillsboro” or the “Company”).  As part of the transaction, Renovus acquired a majority stake in the business with additional acquisition financing provided by Graycliff Partners (“Graycliff”), an independent investment firm focusing on middle market private equity and mezzanine investments.

Hillsboro Aero Academy, based in Hillsboro, Oregon, is a provider of ab initio pilot training to domestic and international students.  Using a fleet of 51 single and twin engine aircraft and 24 helicopters, the Company offers a variety of training programs from private pilot’s license to flight instructor to Airline Transport Pilot (ATP).  Hillsboro attract students from the U.S. and from around the world, and is the 5th largest pilot training provider to Chinese airlines.  Leading countries of origin include China, Taiwan, Brazil and the U.S., with the many of the U.S. students participating through a partnership with Portland Community College, the largest college in Oregon.  The school is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Civil Aviation Administration of China and accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).  Renovus is also the majority owner of Phoenix East Aviation, a pilot training school in Daytona Beach, Florida that primarily serves the European, African and Latin American markets. 
“The partnership with Renovus and Graycliff is the right next step for the business,” noted Max Lyons, Hillsboro’s owner and CEO.  “With strong demand for airline pilots, the school has a wide range of growth opportunities in front of it.  Renovus brings the capital and expertise in aviation training to help Hillsboro take full advantage of these opportunities.”

 “Max has built a high-quality school that delivers outstanding student outcomes,” added Brad Whitman, a Renovus founder.  “We spent a significant amount of time interviewing former graduates and evaluating the school’s training program and aircraft and were very impressed with the results.”

“With its strong relationships in China and excellent student outcomes, Hillsboro is well-positioned to expand its market share in China, the world’s fastest growing aviation market,” concluded Andrew Trigg, a partner with Graycliff.  “China alone by 2031 will need 71,000 new commercial airline pilots and meeting this demand will drive significant growth in the flight training sector.”


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