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Carlyle Group Takes Majority Stake In Trans Maldivian Airways As The Company Completes Restructuring


Carlyle Group Inc CG.O, multi-product global alternative asset management firm announced yesterday that it has taken a majority stake in Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA), from buyout firm Bain Capital following a debt restructuring deal.


The acquisition was carried out by the private equity firm's global credit unit, which has $59 billion in assets under management.


Bain Capital acquired TMA in 2017 with a buyout valued at $550 million forming the largest seaplane operator in the world.


The negotiations with Carlyle Group began during the pandemic when the airline was forced to ground its entire fleet and suspend operations due to the pandemic.


According to reports, Carlyle took majority ownership of TMA from Bain in exchange for agreeing to restructure the airline's outstanding debt of about $300 million.


Lenders King Street Capital Management and Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP took stakes in TMA with Carlyle while Bain and Tempus Group retained minority stakes in TMA.


TMA’s management team would remain the same and the newly reconstituted board includes Lars Erik Nielsen, one of the founders of Maldivian Air Taxi.


Trans Maldivian Airways was founded in 1989 as Hummingbird Island Helicopters by pilot Kit Chambers operating with a fleet of helicopters while Maldivian Air Taxi was founded in 1993 with DHC6 Twin Otters.


Humming Island Helicopters too acquired DHC6 Twin Otters later and rebranded as Trans Maldivian Airways in 2000. The two companies merged in 2013 when American equity, The Black Stone Group acquired the two companies thus becoming the largest seaplane operator in the world.


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