Eliance Group completes purchase of Italian operator Elifriulia

Eliance Group completes purchase of Italian operator Elifriulia


This news story follows the announcement in July of the intention of Eliance eto purchase Elifriulia

The Eliance Group, a Spanish operator active in the helicopter services sector, has acquired the majority of the share capital of Elifriulia SpA alongside the two institutional financial partners who remain in the shareholding with a minority stake.

In fact, in September 2021, the financial shareholders, FVS SGRSpA, on behalf of the Fund called “Fondo Sviluppo PMI” (“FVS”), and Friulia SpA (“Friulia”) invested equally in Elifriulia SpA (“Elifriulia” or the “Company ”), acquiring a total of approximately 26% of the share capital. The two investors have also financed the company by subscribing to mezzanine instruments which will make it possible to finance the growth plan of Elifriulia, a historic company in the sector which has been providing emergency medical services for over 50 years on the Italian market. 

Elifriulia, a company founded by Luigi Coloatto in 1971 with headquarters in Ronchi dei Legionari (GO), is the longest-lived helicopter operator in Italy. Elifriulia’s business includes a wide range of helicopter services, the main ones being helicopter rescue (so-called «HEMS») and forest firefighting, which together cover around half of the Company’s total revenues. Furthermore, Elifriulia also offers flight school and training services, helicopter rental and public transport, aerial work (transport of materials, remote sensing, off-shore activities) and, as a Robinson Helicopter concessionaire, also deals with the sale and maintenance of rotary wing aircraft. 

The Company has three permanent operational bases (two in FVG and one in Veneto), a fleet consisting of 17 helicopters and 3 aircraft and a staff that includes around 65 resources including pilots, technicians, engineers and administrative staff. For some years the Company has also been present in Croatia through the subsidiary Eli Adriatik.

Elifriulia for over 50 years has been owned by the Coloatto family who recently sold the majority of the capital to the Eliance Group with the aim of accelerating its growth path thanks also to the entry into the orbit of an operator active on an international scale which can count on a fleet of over 70 helicopters.

Elifriulia in 2021 recorded revenues of approximately 15 million euros with interesting margins and plays a role of strong roots in the operating area. The objective of the new team, made up of the Eliance Group and the local financial partners, is to implement a challenging growth plan that allows for a significant increase in the volume of business achieved in a niche sector characterized by stringent certifications, high know-how how and levels of specializations of absolute importance.  

The growth strategy for the next few years is developed along three main lines: the awarding of new HEMS tenders in the Italian market, the expansion and development of the business in contiguous geographical areas (including entry into some foreign markets) and the completion and strengthening of the services offered to be implemented both through acquisitions and through projects to create a system with other operators in the sector that are complementary in terms of business model, geographical area of ​​operation and/or services offered. 

With Elifriulia, FVS completed the portfolio of the “PMI 1” Development Fund by fully investing the endowment of Euro 50 million in 8 companies with offices in Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia (to date, 3 divestments have already been successfully carried out and therefore the portfolio currently consists of 5 companies). 
Fabrizio Spagna, President of FVS Sgr , expresses all his satisfaction with the success of the operation:“We immediately liked Elifriulia for its corporate history, of a company that has reached its third generation, which has decided to integrate into a larger international industrial group to make a further leap in growth and development, taking advantage of the strong internal know-how necessary to compete and develop in a very complex and regulated market such as the helicopter services sector. Our investment alongside that of Friulia aims to support and financially support the company’s ambitious development plan, which we plan to implement in the coming years also thanks to the contribution of the new majority shareholder with whom we have a significant strategic alignment . ” 

With the operation in Elifriulia, Friulia’s consultancy and support process for regional SMEs continues. To date, the total value of the interventions has exceeded 200 million euros, with equity investments in 88 companies (of which over 80% SMEs) whose aggregate turnover is equal to over 2.5 billion euros and which employ a total of over 9 thousand employees. “ The one we concluded in Elifriulia is an important operation, not only for the decisive role that the company plays in helicopter rescue and in extinguishing forest fires, today a real national emergency, but also for the future expansion project that it will also be possible thanks to our intervention – declared the President of Friulia Federica Seganti . “In the coming years, thanks to the acquisition of new helicopters envisaged in the fleet management plan, Elifriulia will be included in one of the main European groups in the sector and will be able to strengthen its role in a highly competitive but very prestigious environment .”

The advisors to the investors were the law firm NCTM (with the Partner Lucia Corradi), Adacta Advisory and Adacta Tax & Legal for corporate finance and due diligence activities with the teams led by partners Francis De Zanche and Giulia Gionfriddo, while the new majority shareholder Eliance was assisted by the Gianni Orrigoni Partners firm (with the lawyer Federico Loizzo). 

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