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Dorset based aircraft distributor sold for undisclosed sum

A Dorset company which is the official British Isles and Spanish distributor for the world's leading manufacturer of single-engine turboprop aircraft has been sold for an undisclosed sum.

The entire issued share capital of R A Berry Holdings Ltd, the parent company of Pilatus PC-12 Centre UK Ltd, has been acquired by Pilatus (BIS) Ltd, a Channel Islands based company owned by Jersey resident Julian Jones, the founder of the Drilling Systems Group of companies which includes DS Aviation. The businesses are all based at Bournemouth International Airport.

Future reorganisation will see all DS Aviation interests including SkySIM, DS Worldwide Aviation (Civil) Limited and DS Aviation (Military) Limited as well as the Red Arrows Gnat XR-537 and the Sea Vixen G-CVIX transfer along with Pilatus into a new DS Aviation group structure.

Pilatus PC-12 Centre UK is a family owned and run business spearheaded by Bob Berry, an experienced pilot with decades of business dealing in the aviation industry. Mr Berry remains with the company focusing on aircraft sales following the sale.

Apart from the UK, the company is the sole official distributor of the Swiss-based Pilatus aircraft in Ireland, the Channel Islands, Isle of Man comprising the British Isles and Spain or 'BIS'.

David Chapman, Corporate Finance Director with chartered accountants and business advisers Princecroft Willis (PcW), handled the corporate finance aspects of the deal while Bournemouth-based law firm Steele Raymond LLP acted for the selling shareholders.

The Steele Raymond team was led by Tim Stone, Partner and Head of the firm's Corporate team.

Mr Stone said: "This was a complex transaction involving specialist aviation issues and dealing with Pilatus headquarters in Stans, Switzerland.

"We're delighted that our team of specialist lawyers and the team at Princecroft Willis helped to ensure that the acquisition was achieved to the satisfaction of all the parties involved."

Mark Johns, PcW's Managing Partner, said: "We're proud to have introduced Drilling Systems to Pilatus PC-12 Centre UK who purchased their own PC-12 aircraft M-DRIL last year and have now completed this successful deal."


Picture caption: Flying high: Bob Berry of Pilatus PC-12 Centre UK Ltd (left) and Jo Mills, Financial Controller, with (second right) Tim Stone of Steele Raymond LLP and Princecroft Willis' David Chapman.


20 June 2012