Stirling Square seals first acquisition of 2011

The €40m growth capital investment in Portugal-based Omni Helicopters International marks the Europe-focused firm’s first-ever investment in Iberia.

Stirling Square Capital Partners has made a €40 million growth capital investment in Portugal-based Omni Helicopters International, the firm’s first-ever investment in Iberia.

Omni specialises in emergency medical transportation services and also provides air transportion for the oil and gas industry. The company’s helicopter fleet is operated by its Brazilian affiliate, Omni Brazil, based in Rio de Janeiro.

“Stirling Square is not changing its strategy or opening an office in Brazil, but thanks to the diversity of our investment professionals group, sometimes we feel very comfortable in markets outside of Europe, and that’s how we can assist this kind of company,” Stirling Square partner and co-founder Gregorio Napoleone told Private Equity International.

The transaction marks Stirling’s first investment of 2011 and its fifth investment from its second fund that closed on €375 million in 2010. The fund, which is roughly 35 percent invested, includes a general partner commitment of €28 million, representing roughly 7.5 percent of the total fund.

The investment in Omni includes co-investment capital from Brazilian entrepreneurs Salim and Eugenio Mattar, with whom Napoleone and Sterling co-founder Stefano Bonfiglio partnered in 1997 while at DLJ Merchant Banking.

Stirling Square invests in European mid-market companies with enterprise values between €50 million and €500 million. The firm manages two funds with total committed capital of €735 million, and has made 16 investments since its founding in 2002.

Other investments in the aviation space include a 2008 investment in aerospace components company Microtecnica, which Stirling Square sold in May; and a 2005 investment in Global Design Technologies, which designs metal connectors, tubes and fittings for the aerospace and defence industry.