A controlling stake in New Zealand's largest air ambulance provider, Skyline, has been sold to private equity.
On Friday afternoon the company said investment firm Business Syndications Limited (BSL) had purchased an 80 per cent stake in Hawkes Bay's Skyline Healthcare Group, previously known as Skyline Aviation.
While the statement did not disclose the purchase price or who the buyers were, Skyline said the buyers were New Zealand investors "including iwi and a KiwiSaver provider".
Founded in 1998, it offers air ambulances and a number of related services, including aeroplane maintenance and leasing as well as international jet charters. It has more than 80 staff.
As part of the deal, Skyline founder Mike Toogood is stepping down as chief executive but continues to have a stake in the company.
"A key factor in considering the sale of the business was that [it] fit with our ethos. I'm delighted to be placing the business in the hands of New Zealanders, and I'm confident they will enable the company to continue to grow and set new standards, as well as successfully navigate the challenges in the years ahead from healthcare system reforms," Toogood said.
The deal, which was completed at the end of July, saw Scott Technologies chairman Stuart McLauchlan become chairman of the company.
"We have updated our name to Skyline Healthcare Group, from Skyline Aviation, because that better reflects the diverse healthcare services the group now offers as aviation, aeromedicine, and assistance specialists, and reflects our confidence in continuing to build on what has already been achieved, " McLauchlan, a former chairman of Pharmac, said.
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Phil Veal, the managing director of BSL, also joined the Skyline board as part of the deal.
As part of the changes, Annabel Toogood has become an executive director.
"While the shareholder register and the name have changed, everything else remains as it has been. Business at Skyline Healthcare Group continues as usual and service levels and our dedication to giving our patients the highest standard of care will not change," Annabel Toogood said.
The company is now seeking a new chief executive.