BGF has invested £2.8m of growth capital in RVL Group, a specialist aviation services provider that operates a fleet of 15 aircraft based at East Midlands Airport (EMA).
RVL Group manages long term contracts for government and private sector clients in the survey and surveillance market, and undertakes scheduled and ad-hoc cargo work. It also provides bespoke services for defence equipment manufacturers. While most of its work is carried out in UK airspace, it has completed surveys as far afield as Greenland, Iceland, Saudi Arabia and western Africa as well as throughout Europe.
Founded in 2007 the company operates from a purpose built hangar and office building at EMA, with direct access to the main runway. EMA’s central location and comprehensive infrastructure are strategically important for RVL Group, allowing rapid transit times to any destination in the UK.
RVL Group is part way through a major project to design and create a new spray system for a freight converted Boeing 737 aircraft, which can be used for dispersing oil spills. The solution will be a worldwide first and is being developed with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Waypoint Aeronautical. It is expected to revolutionise the industry’s oil spill clean-up capability which currently consists of legacy systems and technology.
The company plans to use part of BGF’s investment for the final stages of the project, which is due to complete in the first half of 2015, pending regulatory approval. The remainder will be used to develop into new business areas and expand RVL Group’s aircraft fleet, meaning it can take on more work.
As part of the deal, Graham Cole CBE joins the company as Non-Executive Chairman after being introduced to the co-founders through BGF’s talent network programme. Cole is a former Chairman of the West of England Aerospace Forum, a member of the Ministerial Aerospace Committee and Chairman of Agusta Westland. BGF’s Tim Whittard joins the board as Non-Executive Director and James Syrotiuk as Board Observer.
Steve Guynan, Managing Director, RVL Group commented:
“In the past seven years, we’ve won several major contracts through demonstrating innovation, reliability and efficiency. We now want to increase capacity so we can grow existing contracts and take advantage of new opportunities. BGF’s investment allows us to do this.
“We are also delighted to be welcoming Graham Cole to the board. Graham’s experience in the industry will be invaluable as we continue to expand the business.”
Tim Whittard, Investment Director, BGF commented:
“We have worked closely with co-founders, Colin and Steve, to understand the needs of the business. Throughout this process, we’ve been impressed by their sector expertise and commitment to the company, their staff and customers.”
“RVL Group has quickly established a strong foothold in a market with high barriers to entry. There are further opportunities that – as a company with plenty of ambition, energy and ability, and an enlarged aircraft fleet – it can capitalise on.”
RVL Group is banked by Natwest.