Top Aces raises $100M from Clairvest and CDPQ

Top Aces Inc. has secured a $100 million new investment in share capital from Clairvest Group Inc. (Clairvest), its lead shareholder, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and its other existing investors.

Funding will be used to support Dorval, Québec based Top Aces’ international expansion, and to acquire new aircrafts to enhance and diversify its service.

Founded in 2000 by a group of highly accomplished former fighter pilots, Top Aces has the largest worldwide footprint of privately held operational fighter aircraft that provide advanced adversary, air defence and Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) training services around the globe.

Top Aces was acquired by Discover Air Inc. in August 2007 and later rebranded Discovery Air Defence Services Inc.

In December 2017, Discovery Air Inc., a company controlled by Clairvest Group, sold 16% stake in Top Aces to U.S. institutional investors for $25 million, with Discovery Air and Clairvest holding 10% and 74% stakes respectively. In March 2018, Discovery Air sought Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) protection and changed its name to Northco.

Clairvest, through Clairvest Equity Partners IV Limited Partnership, Clairvest Equity Partners IV-A Limited Partnership, and its own fund CEP IV Co-Investment Limited Partnership, currently holds a 57.6% stake in Top Aces.

photo credit: Top Aces

News Release

Top Aces secures $100 million equity financing to support its international expansion

Montréal, November 26, 2019 — Top Aces Inc. (Top Aces), a world leader in airborne training, announced today that it will receive a new investment in share capital from Clairvest Group Inc. (Clairvest), its lead shareholder, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and its other existing investors.

This financing will supports Dorval, Québec-based Top Aces’ international expansion, allowing it to acquire new aircrafts to enhance and diversify its service.

“This investment provides major support for the growth of our airborne training services, particularly in rapidly-expanding international markets,” said Paul Bouchard, President and Chief Executive Officer of Top Aces. “By joining our existing investment partners, CDPQ further solidifies a strong and long-term shareholding base that will enable Top Aces to take on new challenges in new countries.”

“Top Aces is a Quebec company recognized for the quality of its services and its unparallelled safety record within the air training sector,” said Charles Émond, Executive Vice-President, Québec, Private Equity and Strategic Planning, at CDPQ. “With this investment, Top Aces will pursue international growth and consolidate its leadership position within its industry.”

ABOUT TOP ACES

Top Aces provides advanced and innovative airborne training to the world’s leading air forces. Founded in 2000 by a group of highly accomplished former fighter pilots, Top Aces has the largest worldwide footprint of privately held operational fighter aircraft that provide advanced adversary, air defence and Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) training services around the globe. The mission-critical training offered by Top Aces enhances the operational readiness of combat forces by providing realistic real-world experience while prolonging its customers’ fleet life.

The company is changing the face of air combat training with its unparallelled safety record, outstanding team and an industry-leading 82,000 hours of operational training flown in support of its customers worldwide. Top Aces has the experience that matters.

For further information, please visit www.topaces.com.

Media Contact:

RACHEL ANDREWS
Director of Marketing and Communications
Top Aces
+1 514 451-5131
rachel.andrews@topaces.com

Ted Liu

Ted Liu, M.Sc. (Mining, Queen's), MBA (Finance, Toronto), is the Editor of Private Capital Journal, CanadaMetals.ca, TechWire.ca, and the former Editor of Canadian Private Equity. Ted has been passionately tracking Canadian private capital industry since 1992, having most recently served as Research Director for The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA).

Ted is the architect of CVCA infobase, and is the architect of CPE Media's Financings.ca, Canada's most sophisticated and advanced all private capital and public market financing database.