A Coventry Airport based aerospace company has acquired a majority share in Cardiff’s Heliport operator for an undisclosed sum.
The deal sees Sir Peter Rigby’s Patriot Aerospace acquire commercial charter specialist Veritair Aviation.
Sir Peter is the 12th richest person in the West Midlands, worth £480 million, according to the 2012 Birmingham Post Rich List.
Patriot’s operations also include flight training, sales and engineering.
In 2010 the group bought Coventry Airport with a view to moving from freight-only to serving business passengers and helicopters.
Patriot finance director Paul Southall said: “We are delighted to announce the completion of a deal which not only incorporates another profitable and successful company, but means that Patriot Aerospace takes responsibility for Cardiff Heliport.
“To move forward sustainably our helicopter operations must move away from solely private charter, private pilot training and light helicopter engineering to more stable and lucrative work in the commercial field and this announcement marks a significant step in that direction.”
Veritair operations include passenger transport, surveys, load lifting, MOD offshore support and emergency services.
Cardiff Heliport is a 13.5 acre site close to the docks and is accessible to the South West and South Wales.
Veritair founder and managing director Captain Julian Verity, who remains with the company, sees increased opportunities to expand under the Patriot banner.
He said: “Becoming the specialist commercial helicopter division of Patriot Aerospace gives Veritair considerably more muscle to flex when competing for the expanding business opportunities coming our way.
“Whilst our Welsh roots are exceedingly important, we need the economies of scale that only came with being part of a bigger UK operation.”
Mr Southall added: “Veritair brings a solid and respected track record in commercial operations, which gives us a great start in creating a credible British competitor for oil and gas contracts and also established operations with the police and air ambulance services.
“We look forward to working with the latest additions to the Patriot team as we consolidate and expand the group’s commercial operations across the UK.”
Patriot Aerospace were advised by Shoosmiths and Veritair were advised by Gambit and Capital Law.