Bayside acquires air cargo company

Just months after portfolio company Gemini Air Cargo went out of business, the distressed specialist has purchased air courier Flight Express.

Bayside Capital, the distressed debt and turnaround affiliate of HIG Capital, has purchased air courier service Flight Express for an undisclosed amount.

Orlando, Florida-based Flight Express operates 84 aircraft providing same-day service to banking and life sciences customers in the South and Midwest US.

Bayside acquired related company AirNet Systems in June 2008. The Columbus, Ohio-based cargo airline operator has 100 aircraft providing on-demand charter service.

In August, Bayside portfolio company Gemini Air Cargo ceased operations and is permanently winding down its business after failing to obtain a buyer and emerge from Chapter 11. Gemini was scooped out of bankruptcy by Bayside after filing in March 2006 but was forced into bankruptcy again in June 2008.

Bayside closed its second fund on $3 billion in June. The firm, which shares its Miami headquarters with HIG, provides equity infusions and refinancing packages to small- and mid-market companies experiencing financial hardships. Bayside also purchases existing debt on the secondary market.

Led by Levin Leichtman Capital Partners veterans Tiffany Kosch and Lewis Schoenwetter, Bayside targets companies with total enterprise values of less than $400 million. The firm typically pursues transactions of around $100 million, according to its website.