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7 September 2006   

STAR Capital Partners announces the sale of its investment in aircraft technical solutions provider, SR Technics

STAR Capital Partners (“STAR”) announces the sale of its shareholding in SR Technics Holding Limited (“SRT”), the world’s leading independent provider of technical services for aircraft, components and engines, to a consortium of three investors from the United Arab Emirates with a strategic investment interest in the aerospace industry. The consortium, made up of Dubai Aerospace Enterprises (“DAE”), Mubadala Development and Istithmar, acquired SRT in a transaction valued at CHF1.6 billion.

SRT has been owned by STAR, 3i, and management since 2002. Since the acquisition, the company – a subsidiary of the former Swiss national airline Swissair until its demise in 2001 – has been successfully positioned as one of the world’s leading independent providers of integrated technical solutions for aircraft and engines and initiated a successful international growth strategy. In 2004, SRT acquired and integrated its competitor FLS Aerospace, based at London Stansted and Dublin. Recently, it acquired Sifco Turbine Components of Cork, Ireland to strengthen its engine repair business. In the past four years, the company has also signed numerous new customer contracts and partnerships in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Since becoming independent, SRT has built a diversified business base with a decreased reliance on Swiss. Today, SRT’s business is based on a broad global customer portfolio that includes Swiss, easyJet, Cathay Pacific, Aer Lingus, Austrian Airlines and Thai Airlines as its largest customers with numerous other airlines such as Hong Kong’s Dragonair and the Middle Eastern carriers Gulf Air and Sama Airlines. SRT has substantially developed its Integrated Components and Integrated Airline Solution offerings, positioning it as a high value partner to its airline customers.

Commenting on the realisation:

Paul Gough, Investment Director of STAR Capital Partners said:

SRT is a great example of STAR’s strategy of acquiring and developing businesses that provide outsourced solutions for a company’s non-core and capital-intensive activity (“Capital Outsourcing”). STAR saw the potential to use the SRT platform to provide a Capital Outsourcing solution to the airline industry at a time when the industry was capital constrained and seeking innovative solutions from its suppliers. The SRT platform combined with access to additional capital could be used to generate significant scaling benefits that provided an opportunity to create exciting investment returns for our investors while at the same time delivering good value for money and an attractive solution for airline customers. We are pleased to have supported SRT’s repositioning and substantial growth and wish all those at the company well under its new ownership.

Hans Lerch, President and CEO of SRT added:

"We have achieved impressive development under 3i and STAR Capital over the past four years and our new owners will reinforce the positioning of SRT as a globally-successful provider of integrated airline, component and engine services."

Dr. Stephan Krummer, Managing Director of 3i Germany said:

"This is the logical next step in the continuation of SRT’s success story. We are proud of what we achieved with SRT and wish the company much success in the future."

Bob Johnson, CEO of DAE, said:

"This is a great deal for all involved as it will help fulfil the potential of this business. We intend to expand SRT’s global reach and diversification. In particular, our consortium and the management of the company see great opportunities to build the brand in the Middle East and the Asia/Pacific regions – the high growth markets into which SRT has diversified in the past. Additionally, SRT will continue to grow its strong present market position in Europe.”


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