North Charlestons Hawthorne acquires New Orleans aviation business
A North Charleston-based aviation business has spread its wings to the Big Easy.
Hawthorne Global Aviation Services said Tuesday that it has acquired a majority stake in a privately held company that tends to the needs of private jets and flight crews that land at New Orleans Lakefront Airport.
The newly acquired “fixed-base operator” is AeroPremier Jet Center, which will be rebranded as a Hawthorne location and added to the company’s expanding aviation-servicing network.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Hawthorne said AeroPremier’s business includes about 50,000 square feet of hangar space that can accommodate aircraft up to the size of a Gulfstream 550 jet.
The former National Guard helicopter facility was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It was reopened in February after a lengthy government-funded rebuilding project.
“The newly renovated facility provides a first-class gateway to New Orleans and is only 15 minutes from the heart of the city,” said Steven Levesque, president and chief executive officer of Hawthorne.
“We are pleased to have been able to add such a great facility on a major general aviation airport as our initial presence on the Gulf Coast.”
Hawthorne is a general-aviation-services company that was founded in 1932. It is headquartered off Leeds Avenue. Through its 80-year history, it has been involved in many aspects of the aviation industry.
The company began managing ground-service operations at airports in the 1950s under contracts with the Department of Defense.
It formed Hawthorne Global Aviation Services in November with Moelis Capital Partners, which invested an undisclosed amount in the joint venture.
Moelis, a New York-based private-equity firm, also provides the company with strategic advice.
Reach John P. McDermott at 937-5572.