Rigby Group acquires Capital Air Charter Limited


Rigby Group plc's aviation division has completed its second UK acquisition of 2014 with the purchase of Exeter based Capital Air Charter Limited.

Operating both the Capital Air Charter and Capital Air Ambulance services, the company has a long-standing reputation as an efficient, safe and commercially-capable operator offering executive corporate and private chartered flights, medical repatriation and urgent freight services throughout Europe.

Already the South west’s leading operations of their type, the services will continue to operate under their own brand as plans for new growth are finalised.

“This is a hugely significant announcement for both companies, one that will allow us to develop and realise its potential for in a way that simply wasn’t possible in the past,” said Capital Air Charter Managing Director and Chief Pilot Malcolm Humphries.

“Being part of the Rigby Group will enable us to capitalise on opportunities that we were simply unable to grasp in the past.”

Rigby Group, which under its British International Helicopters (BIH) brand already represents one of UK's largest domestically owned commercial aviation and offshore helicopter services companies, plans to grow Capital Air Charter's market share extensively over the next few years and to develop both its aero medical services and its contracted charter capabilities.

Group Chairman and Chief Executive Sir Peter Rigby said: “Regional aviation is vitally important to the economic development of regions, not just in the UK but across the world. I am delighted to welcome everyone at Capital Air Charter to our fast growing team. Over the last two decades they have worked hard to establish the company as the South West’s largest air ambulance and private air charter operator with an enviable reputation, and I am very much looking forward to working together as we continue to expand operations and build on that success.”

Confirming Rigby Group's status as one of the largest single owners of regional airports and airport services in the UK and underlining its intent to continue to both grow its share in the sector and increase the role of regional aviation in the UK, the Capital Air Charter acquisition marks the sixth M&A deal the group has undertaken in 2014, and the 11th since launching its new acquisition strategy in 2013.

Capital Air Charter was built from scratch, launched 23 years ago with a single aircraft from an office based around the founders’ kitchen table. Since then an ethos of tight cost control and a commitment to service and safety excellence has seen the firm become the longest established and leading charter operator in the South west.

Capital Air Ambulance operates the air ambulance service in Guernsey, and also provides emergency back-up to the medical services in Jersey and the Isle of Man. It also has standing relationships with a number of brokerages supplying emergency repatriation services to Britons injured abroad.

The services are run by 35 full time staff in Exeter, Jersey and the Isle of Man, with a roster of over 70 part-time medical staff available on call. They currently operate eight aircraft: five Piper Chieftains and three King Air Turboprop craft.

Capital Air Charter Finance Director Lisa Humphries commented: “While this is undoubtedly a pivotal moment in the business’ history, for our existing customers it will feel very much like business as usual. We will continue to deliver the high standards and approach to service that has made us the region's number one charter operator, and will carry that ethos forward as our membership of the Rigby Group enables expansion across the operation.”


Exeter Airport named Which Recommended Provider


Exeter Airport’s focus on customer service has helped it gain a coveted 'Recommended Provider' status from leading consumer organisation Which?

The airport is among just eight to secure the award from Which? in its annual survey involving 7,000 Which? members rating their satisfaction at 35 UK airports.

All the ‘Recommended Provider’ accolades went to airports in the small airports category (fewer than 4 million passengers
per year) leading Which? to conclude that small airports are, on average, providing a better experience than larger ones.

Exeter Airport’s survey customers gave maximum five star ratings for check-in and baggage reclaim–two areas where the larger airports fared particularly badly.

The vote of confidence from Which? comes in the same week Exeter Airport announced it is on course for another year of growth following last year’s 6% increase–the first in six years–in passenger numbers to 740,000 and further growth in the first half of 2014.

It is also just over a year since Exeter Airport was acquired by Regional & City Airports, the airport management division of Rigby Group plc, which recently bought Norwich International Airport, which also features in the top 10.

Sir Peter Rigby, founder, CEO and chairman of Rigby Group, said: “This rating is very welcome and reflects the overall commitment of Rigby Group to ensuring excellent customer service and the best possible passenger experience as we focus on cementing Exeter’s position as the gateway airport to the South West and a real driver for economic growth.

“There is a clear trend recognised within the Which? survey for smaller airports to be able to deliver a significantly better passenger experience than larger airports. This supports Rigby Group’s own recognition of the value of regional airports both to their customers and their local economies.”

Matt Roach, managing director of Exeter Airport, added: “The airport is continuing to invest in a range of facilities and passengers will start to see a number of improvements in the build up to the launch of the London City service. We therefore hope to further improve the customer experience ahead of the next Which? survey.”

The Which? survey was conducted ahead of a bank holiday get-away and rated airports on areas that matter the most to consumers, including pick-up and drop-off, seating provision, queues at security, passport control and baggage reclaim.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd, said: “The message from travellers is clear–larger airports continue to let people down on the basics, from baggage reclaim to food outlets. People deserve an enjoyable break without any stress, so we want to hear from consumers so that we can help to stop the holiday hassles.”

The organisation launched its Stop the Holiday Hassles campaign because it believes that people deserve to have an enjoyable, stress-free break.


Senior M&A Appointment at Rigby Group underlines ongoing acquisition programme


Rigby Group Plc, the parent company for a portfolio of privately owned and highly successful businesses, has appointed Edouard Carlone, an experienced investment banker as its new Head of M&A.

Mr Carlone joins the group from UBS, where he specialised in M&A and corporate development for the past 14 years. His career experience includes originating and executing both buy and sell side transactions across multiple sectors for UK and International companies, entrepreneurs and private equity houses.

He also has global transaction experience in the US, Europe and the emerging markets and his appointment underlines the Group’s stated intention to continue to seek acquisition opportunities.

Edouard Carlone, Rigby Group Head of M&A, commented: “The Rigby Group has been one of the most active privately backed Groups
in recent times in terms of deals. I am delighted to be joining them to support their strategic plans that will include further targeting of businesses which can add value to the Group.”

Rigby Group Plc has been intensely active over the past 18 months and the recent acquisition of Norwich International Airport represented its 10th major transaction and its fifth in 2014 alone.

As well as Norwich, the Group acquired Exeter Airport in the summer of 2013 to add to its existing ownership of Coventry
. It furthermore manages Blackpool and City of Derry airports through Regional & City Airports (RCA). In addition, the Group
as part of its Eden Hotel Collection has bought two sites in the South West, Bovey Castle and Tides Reach,
with plans to redevelop both.

Earlier this year, SCC, the group’s technology division, acquired M2 Digital, the UK’s leading independently managed print services company as well as selling its Dutch division to North America based Systemax.

Steve Rigby, Rigby Group COO commented:

“We have been very clear in our intent to grow our portfolio of companies and the activity of the past 18 months is the
implementation on that strategic plan. We feel the time is right to grow and expand Rigby Group and we continue to actively look at acquisition opportunities across our key areas of interest.

“We are one of the most active private firms in our sectors at the moment in terms of transactions, with five major deals already in 2014 and 10 in the past 18 months. We will continue to pursue this strategy and expect to announce more transactions in the next 12 months.”


Mayfair deals follow completion of £60million worth of transactions for Rigby & Rigby


Leading London prime residential specialists Rigby & Rigby have added a further two sites to their development portfolio, building on the £60million of property transactions already completed in the capital in 2014.

The company, part of the £2.8 billion turnover Rigby Group PLC, headed by Sir Peter Rigby, specialise in bespoke restorations, renovations and conversions in some of London’s most exclusive addresses. They have acquired a further two, three bedroom luxury apartments in super prime, Mayfair, and expect to return them to the market in the first quarter of next year.

The company’s recent completed projects and instructions range from the restoration of elegant townhouses and stylish apartments, to less conventional projects including the conversion of an historic Knightsbridge church.

Steve Rigby, Rigby Group COO and founder of the company, said: “2014 has been a very successful time for the company so far and our pipeline continues to build. Our strategy and focus is on bespoke development in some of the most sort after locations in London and our work from concept design and architecture through to completion has been widely recognised for its quality.

“We are very proud to have been associated with some of the finest redevelopments of property in London in recent times. We will continue acquiring properties for resale or carrying out high end projects for our private clients.”

Recent accolades for the company include winning the design et al International Design and Architecture Award for Residential Property in the £20 million plus category.


Financial Times: Airports, helicopters, hotels and IT - but no flights of fancy


Financial Times: Airports, helicopters, hotels and IT - but no flights of fancy

Rigby Group aviation division acquires Norwich International Airport


Regional & City Airports (RCA), the airports management division of Rigby Group plc, has completed its third UK regional airport acquisition with the purchase of Norwich International Airport-signalling the group's intent to continue to grow its share in the sector and increase the role of regional airports in the UK.

Marking the fifth M&A deal the group has undertaken in 2014, the addition of Norwich International Airport under lines Rigby Group's status as one of the largest single owners of regional airports and airport services in the UK. The Group, under the banner of its management company Regional & City Airports (RCA), already owns and operates Coventry and Exeter Airports-which it acquired in 2010 and 2013 respectively.

The company also holds management contracts for both Blackpool International Airport and City of Derry Airport and is actively building its portfolio of owned or managed airport assets across the next five years.

Group Chairman and Chief Executive Sir Peter Rigby said: “Regional airports are vitally important to the economic development of regions, not just in the UK but across the world. To survive and prosper, smaller regional airports need to cooperate and collaborate-enabling them to benefit from the economies of scale and sharing of best practice traditionally enjoyed by larger hub airports.

“I am delighted to welcome everyone at Norwich International Airport to our fast growing team. Over the last decade they have worked hard to establish the site as East Anglia's flagship aviation hub, and I am very much looking forward to working together as we continue to expand operations and build on that success.”

Already employing more than 650 people and managing over 1000, RCA has built a reputation as an efficient, safe and commercially-capable airport operator. Driving improvements to route development, commercial revenues, operating costs and capital investment in order to deliver a consistently sound commercial return, the company leverages significant buying power and shared expertise to deliver tangible benefits to small airports across the UK.

Norwich International Airport enjoys a four times daily service to Amsterdam Schiphol airport, which is just 30 minutes away by air, and is the busiest UK heliport serving the North Sea oil and gas industry afterAberdeen. Other destinations currently offered include domestic centres such as Manchester, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Jersey and Guernsey, with connections through Manchester enabling passengers to reach Belfast, Glasgow, Isle of Man, Inverness and many more.

Holiday flights operate to the Balearic and Canary Islands, Tunisia, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Malta and Italy.

This is the eighth transaction in the past 12 months-and the fifth in 2014 alone-for the family operated Group, which is focused on six core areas: technology, airports, hotels, real estate, finance and aviation.

Steve Rigby, Rigby Group COO, commented: “In 2013, almost half a million passengers travelled through Norwich International Airport. It is also second only behind Aberdeen in terms of providing a departure point for rig workers in the North Sea, giving it a platform for sustainable growth that closely matches our vision for the future of regional aviation.”

Norwich International Airport CEO Andrew Bell added: “This is a significant and very positive day for the Airport. As a highly respected and stable organisation, Rigby Group's involvement will enable us to build on the many achievements of recent years, safeguarding the future of the business and providing us with a platform from which to build an even more prosperous future for the Airport itself and the region.”

John Spooner, who heads up Regional & City Airports, commented: “As a highly progressive business supporting a range of aviation initiatives, Norwich International Airport represents an exciting addition to the RCA team. We're delighted to welcome them to our growing network of regional airports, and look forward to working with the team there as we seek to build on their legacy of success.”


Rigby Group confirms multi million acquisition of Bovey Castle


Rigby Group Plc has announced the acquisition of the luxury Bovey Castle hotel and estate on Dartmoor in Devon–taking its recent investment in South West luxury hotels to £30 million.

The family-owned business, founded by one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs Sir Peter Rigby, said the 275-acre estate, complete with 64 bedroom mansion hotel, 14 lodges and championship golf course, would become the flagship hotel within the Group’s growing Eden Hotel Collection.

The acquisition follows the recent announcement of a planned £13.5 million investment by Rigby Group in Salcombe, where it has acquired the Tides Reach Hotel and intends to create a brand new 50-bed luxury waterfront boutique hotel on the site, opening in 2016 and creating 100 jobs.

Rigby Group said it would invest £2 million immediately on improvements and renovations at Bovey Castle.

It already owns the Buckland Tout-Saints Hotel in Kingsbridge in South Devon, The Mount Somerset Hotel and Spa in Somerset and five other hotels across the Cotswolds and Midlands–nine hotels in all.

Mark Chambers, Managing Director of the Eden Hotel Collection, said: “The Bovey Castle has become a byword for true English luxury and we see tremendous potential to build on an exceptional brand in an exceptional location as we grow the Eden Hotel Collection into the South West’s leading luxury boutique hotel operator.

“This acquisition takes to nine the number of hotels in the group, offering around 300 rooms across a hand-picked portfolio of unique venues in fantastic surroundings”

The Bovey Castle deal and Tides Reach are the latest significant investments in the South West for Rigby Group and follows its acquisition last year of Exeter International Airport and British International Helicopters, which has a base in Newquay in Cornwall.

Steve Rigby, Chief Operating Officer for Rigby Group said: “The South West has quickly become a key part of Rigby Group and we see great opportunities across several of our business streams in the region, not least boutique hotels and aviation, and we are planning significant further investment to cement our position as leading providers in these areas.”


A successful year for SCC Group as growth accelerates with key services wins

  • SCC Group revenues up 9.5% to £1.74bn
  • EBITDA rises 93% due to record services wins and growing recurring revenues
  • SCC UK revenues top £751m (+13%) with a 27% increase in profitability
  • Major UK growth attributable to services across Datacentre and Cloud - up 69%
  • SCC growth set to continue with focus on achieving £50m EBITDA

(UK) SCC Group - part of the privately owned Rigby Group - has announced its full year financial results to March 2014 showing increased revenue growth of 9.5% compared to the same period last year to total revenues of £1.74bn.
During the same period, EBITDA grew by 93% to £32m and on a continuing basis, excluding disposals and acquisitions, EBITDA was £34.2m.

From a domestic perspective, SCC UK revenues grew by 13% to £751m and £17.1m of EBITDA, 27% higher than the previous year. SCC UK product sales rose by 13% in revenue and 7% in GP. SCC UK services business grew by 12% in revenue and 17% in GP.

UK Datacentre and Cloud revenues grew by 69%. This was supported by a large number of key wins. These included Gist, Aggregate Industries, BOC, IBM, Oxford Council, CAA and Highways Agency. Collectively, these wins delivered in excess of £50m of contract value and SCC enters the new financial year with a strong number of additional contracts that are in transition.

SCC’s Professional Services business benefited from the necessity of customers to migrate away from Windows XP. Key multi-million pound wins in the Professional Services practice included Eurostar, Aldermore Bank, BOC, United Utilities, and Babcock.

The Managed Services business also secured many new customer wins and renewals, many of which went live in H2 and positioned the business for further growth. Key multiyear, multimillion pound annuity service wins or renewals included Mitie, CMS Cameron McKenna, BOC, TUI, Konica Minolta, Volac, National Trust, CSC, Messier Dowty, Price Forbes, Nissan and British Airways.

James Rigby, SCC’s CEO said “I am delighted by this year’s results. Following the sale of SDG in late 2012, these results show our renewed focus on SCC following detailed strategic review and put us firmly on the road to our interim financial goal of £50m EBITDA.

“The services wins secured represent our best achievements and we are grateful for customers entrusting in our vision and approach to the market. I am particularity pleased with our outstanding growth in Cloud services. Looking to the next fiscal year and on the back of our best ever year of services wins, SCC is positioned strongly to continue its evolution through on-going organic investment and acquisitive growth.”

SCC France enjoyed further revenue growth of 5% to £846m and its best year of EBITDA at £15m. The business secured numerous key government and private sector contracts and enters FY15 with a clear strategy to drive the services business to £150m in the coming years.

Despite SCC Spain witnessing a 5% decline in revenue to £40m, margins increased and the business delivered an improved EBITDA of £0.5m. The team remained focused on their transition to a services led business.

SCC Romania saw revenues increase by 72% and the business delivered EBITDA of £0.6m. During the year, headcount increased to 600 at the facilities in Iasi and Bacau. During FY15, it is expected to grow to more than 900 people in Romania.

SCC successfully completed the acquisition of M2 managed print services in February 2014. It is anticipated this business will grow to £50m and 30,000 managed devices by the end of 2015, positioning SCC as the leading independent managed print provider.

During the last fiscal SCC secured a number of global awards from several vendor partners, including HP and Oracle.


Family-owned Rigby Group ranked as one of the UK’s leading Private Businesses


Rigby Group Plc, the parent company for a portfolio of privately owned and highly successful businesses, has been named as one of the UK’s top 20 businesses in the prestigious Sunday Times Top Track 100 list.

The full list was published on Sunday and Rigby Group plc-which was founded by Sir Peter Rigby and is run with his two sons Steve and James-was placed at number 19.

Sir Peter Rigby, commented:

“We are delighted to receive this recognition as it is further testament to the enormous amount of hard work and dedication which has been put in to grow our portfolio of businesses. We have made enormous strategic strides in the past few years through our investment and acquisition decisions and accolades like this show people are noticing that we are succeeding in executing our stated business goals. We intend to keep growing through further investment and look forward to more future success such as inclusion in these sought after rankings.”

Rigby Group Plc has been intensely active in the M&A market over the past 18 months and the recent acquisition of Norwich International Airport represented its 10th major transaction and its fifth in 2014 alone.

The inclusion in the Sunday Times list builds on the award for Family Business of the Year at the 2013 Private Business Awards

sponsored by HSBC.


Rigby Group Sells Dutch-arm of SCC to US-based Systemax


Rigby Group (RG) plc has agreed to the sale of the Dutch division of its technology business SCC to North American based Systemax (NYSE: SYX). The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is due to complete in May 2014.

The family owned and operated Group, which is focused in six core areas: technology, airports, hotels, real estate, finance and aviation, is selling its Utrecht-based operations which it acquired in 2000.

The sale to Systemax-a Fortune 1000 company and leading reseller of product and services-is part of SCC’s strategy to focus on its core markets of the UK, France, Spain and Romania while continuing to re-position as a services-led technology company.

James Rigby, SCC CEO, said: “The sale of our Dutch SCC division follows our strategy which has seen us successfully focus on strengthening and expanding our offering across our key countries. As a business, we have moved to a services-ledsales and delivery model and this has proved a very successful transition in our core countries

“We expect this year to be a record in terms of revenue with double digit growth anticipated. This has been driven by some notable contract wins.”

The sale is the second transaction for SCC in 2014 following on from the acquisition earlier this year of M2 Digital, the UK’s leading independent managed print services company. This transaction is Rigby Group’s 3rd M&A deal in 2014.

Steve Rigby, Rigby Group COO, commented: “Following the sale of our distribution interests in 2012, the Dutch business was sub scale for SCC’s stated objective of being a market leading in its core geographies. This sale allows SCC to focus on its core markets and this will be further demonstrated with strategic and niche acquisitions during 2014.”