Aloha says hello to private equity

New York’s MatlinPatterson has agreed to provide the bankrupt Hawaiian airline a much-needed $90m boost.

New York-based private equity firm MatlinPatterson has agreed to provide up to $90 million (€68 million) in funding to Aloha Airlines, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Hawaii late last year. 

The deal is still subject to court approval. Privately held Aloha, based in Honolulu, said it filed a motion with the court requesting an expedited hearing. 

“Aloha is fortunate to have attracted a significant commitment from such a highly regarded private equity investment firm,” David Banmiller, Aloha’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. 

According to papers filed in Honolulu bankruptcy court in December, Aloha claimed between $10 and $50 million in assets and $50 and $100 million in debt.    

The airline was founded in 1946 and continues to operate inter-island passenger and cargo flights, as well as flights between Hawaii and two states, Nevada and California. 

MatlinPatterson was founded by David Matlin and Mark Patterson and has offices in London and Hong Kong. The firm’s Global Opportunities II Fund, which targets distressed investment opportunities across the globe, closed in November 2004 at $1.665 billion.