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September 2, 2008updated Feb 11, 2013

Macquarie Global Opportunities Partners Completes Acquisition Of Sentient Businesses

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

WEYMOUTH, MASS. – Macquarie Global Opportunities Partners (MGOP) announced today that it has completed the acquisition of the jet membership, retail charter and fuel management business units previously owned by Sentient Jet Holdings, LLC. The businesses are now operating as a standalone company and will retain the Sentient brand. Terms were not disclosed.

The new company, Sentient Flight Group (Sentient) will continue its successful focus on developing solutions for private jet travelers delivered with Sentient’s hallmark commitment to service and safety and will include:

-Sentient Jet Membership – with 3,500 active members, Sentient Jet Membership is one of the industry’s premier programs based on its innovative, flexible product which offers guaranteed availability and fixed one-way pricing.
-Sentient Charter – alongside the membership business, Sentient also offers a leading retail charter broker program. With extensive sales and service teams located around the country, Sentient Charter adds to the company’s range of solutions to meet clients’ private flying needs with concierge-style service for specific, on-demand itineraries.
-AvBuy – Sentient’s fuel business, AvBuy, is a leading national volume aggregator and provides a full service fuel management program for aircraft owners that are Sentient clients and operators that support Sentient’s other programs.

As announced in August, Sentient will be led by Steven Hankin, the former CEO of Sentient Jet Holdings. “We are excited to join forces with MGOP whose financial strength and aviation experience will enhance our ability to provide clients with unique, flexible solutions anchored on exceptional service and an uncompromising safety culture,” said Hankin. “Together, we will focus on continuing Sentient’s strong track record of growth in private aviation.”

Through funds that it manages on behalf of investors or as principal, the Macquarie Group (Macquarie) is a leading global investor and manager across a range of specialist asset classes around the world, with over $200 billion in assets under management. In particular, Macquarie has significant experience managing and/or owning investments in the aviation industry including Fixed-Base Operations (FBOs), Maintenance Repair & Overhaul operations (MRO), airports, aircraft leasing and jet engine leasing.

Michael Cook, Senior Managing Director of MGOP, said, “We are pleased to complete the acquisition of Sentient Flight Group and partner with Steve and his original team that built Sentient into the leading company it is today. Through this transaction we have acquired three strong, profitable businesses – Sentient Jet Membership, Sentient Charter, and AvBuy – each with a unique offering that when combined establishes a platform for continued growth in the highly fragmented private aviation industry.”

About Sentient Flight Group Sentient Flight Group is a leading private aviation company in the United States. The Sentient Jet Membership program is the most flexible and economically sound approach to private aviation. Members enjoy access to premium executive-class aircraft with a guaranteed response time of as little as ten hours anywhere in the continental United States. The program features guaranteed availability as well as both one-way and round-trip pricing at fixed hourly rates. Sentient Charter is built off the company’s superb reputation for service and safety and offers clients expert solutions for specific itineraries, including complex road shows, international travel, and large group commercial charter. Sentient Flight Group also includes the national fuel management program, AvBuy, and the online charter marketplace,

Sentient Membership and Sentient Charter arrange flights on behalf of clients through access to a strong network of certified operators and aircraft. Flights are conducted by FAR certified air carriers that exercise full operational control at all times. Operators approved to provide service for Sentient must meet all FAA safety standards and additional safety standards established by Sentient.

About Macquarie Global Opportunities Partners
Macquarie Global Opportunities Partners (MGOP) is an unlisted fund focused on making private equity investments in privileged cash flow businesses globally. Established in 2007, MGOP is managed by a subsidiary of the Macquarie Group (Macquarie).
Macquarie is a global provider of banking, financial, advisory, investment and funds management services. Macquarie’s main business focus is making returns by providing a diversified range of services to clients, acting on behalf of institutional, corporate and retail clients and counterparties around the world. Macquarie Group Limited is listed in Australia (ASX: MQG) with total assets under management of $212 billion (June 30, 2008).

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