Aviation Technology

The Sterling Group Completes the Acquisition of West Star Aviation

AI Blog
The Sterling Group ("Sterling"), an operationally-focused middle market private equity firm, is pleased to announce the acquisition of West Star Aviation, LLC ("West Star") from Norwest Equity Partners. West Star is a provider of maintenance, repair, and overhaul ("MRO") services to the business aviation industry providing maintenance, modification, and other services to aviation customers. West Star provides services at four primary locations in East Alton, Illinois; Grand Junction, Colorado; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Perryville, Missouri, as well as fifteen mobile repair bases and satellite MRO facilities. West Star also provides parts distribution and composite repair services through its Avant and DAS businesses respectively.

Sterling has deep experience in the business aviation industry, having previously partnered with entrepreneur owners to build Lynx, an FBO Network. Greg Elliott, a Partner at The Sterling Group, has been involved in building several business aviation platforms in the past twenty years, including as either Chairman or Board Member of Lynx, Encore, Trajen, and Landmark Aviation. 

"We believe that our experience coupled with West Star's industry-leading customer service capabilities will make us a powerful combination, Jim Rankin has built a stellar leadership team, and we are eager to help accelerate their growth plans."

- Greg Elliott, Partner at The Sterling Group.

"Sterling's employee-focused approach to their business partnerships and their expertise in the general aviation space makes them the perfect fit for West Star, As we enter our 75th year, the combined efforts of our experienced employees, our founders, and now the Sterling team, will allow West Star to continue to offer the best customer experience in the industry," 

- Jim Rankin, CEO of West Star Aviation.

West Star has been voted the #1 Preferred MRO for eight consecutive years from 2014-2021 in Professional Pilot Magazine's annual PRASE Survey. The survey first included the 'Most Preferred MRO' category in 2014 and West Star has won the #1 slot each year since its inception.


About The Sterling Group
Founded in 1982, The Sterling Group is a private equity investment firm that targets controlling interests in basic manufacturing, distribution, and industrial services companies. Typical enterprise values of these companies at initial formation range from $100 million to $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 62 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $14.0 billion. Sterling recently closed its fifth investment fund with $2.0 billion in commitments and currently has over $5.7 billion of assets under management.

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