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August 13, 2008updated Feb 11, 2013

Sentient To Divide Private Jet Business; Hankin Returns To Lead Sentient Jet Membership

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

WEYMOUTH, MA — Sentient Jet Holdings announced today it is separating into two standalone companies. The aircraft management and charter operations, technical services and FBO business units will form one company and the jet membership, retail charter brokerage and fuel management business units will form the second company. As part of the split, Macquarie Global Opportunities Partners (MGOP) has entered into an agreement to acquire the jet membership, retail charter brokerage and fuel management businesses, which will retain the Sentient brand name. The transaction is expected to close in late August. Terms were not disclosed.

Gregory Campbell, Chairman and CEO of Sentient Jet Holdings, commented: “Following a period of sustained and remarkable growth across all of our businesses, the Board of Managers and I concluded that the operating and capital structure of the jet membership, retail charter brokerage and fuel management programs was better suited as a separate, standalone company.
In choosing to sell these three businesses as a package to Macquarie, combined with the recent equity investment from our current investor group, we are ensuring the long-term success of each of our remaining businesses. We look forward to continuing the growth of our industry-leading Aircraft Management and Charter Operations Division as well as our Fixed Base Operations and Technical Services business.”

MGOP will establish a new company for the acquired business units which will be led by Steven Hankin, the former CEO of Sentient Jet Holdings. “After reviewing a range of strategic alternatives, we are confident that partnering with MGOP and Macquarie, a world-class investment firm with significant experience across the aviation sector and access to capital, is a natural fit,” said Hankin. “With the sponsorship of Macquarie Global Opportunities Partners, this new company will be well capitalized and well positioned to continue building industry-leading jet membership, retail charter brokerage and fuel management programs under the Sentient brand.”

Sentient Jet Membership currently has nearly 3,500 active members and continues to be the most flexible approach to private jet travel available in the market today. The Sentient fuel management business is a leading national volume aggregator and full service fuel management program for aircraft owners and operators and the Sentient retail charter brokerage business has rapidly emerged as one of the largest retail charter brokerage programs in the country.

Michael Cook, Senior Managing Director of MGOP, said, “We are excited to be acquiring Sentient’s jet membership, retail charter brokerage and fuel management company. Each of these business units has a strong track record of profitable growth. We are confident that the experienced management team and employees within these businesses, led by former Sentient CEO Steven Hankin, will be ideally positioned to manage the new company going forward. Under our ownership, Sentient will continue its focus on quality, safety and exceptional service as well as leveraging its proprietary systems that make it a leader in its industry.”

Sentient Jet Holdings has previously announced the combination of all Aircraft Management and Charter Operations into a single Division with industry veteran Jake Cartwright serving as President and CEO. This division will be rebranded upon closing. When the planned consolidation of operating certificates is completed in November 2008, there will be nearly 300 aircraft under management, more than 200 of which will be available for charter. The two companies will continue to work together in number of areas, including access to charter flights for Sentient Membership and Charter clientele and the Sentient fuel business will provide comprehensive fuel management and purchasing programs for the Aircraft Management Division.

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