Rubey: Are we overmatched?
I’m concerned that the FBO Review Committee is potentially outmatched by the caliber of the remaining RFP bidders. The owners of the FBOs remaining in the process include some of the largest, most powerful, and most sophisticated financial institutions in the world.
Atlantic is owned by KKR (famous for their takeover of RJR Reynolds and chronicled in the book and movie titled “Barbarians at the Gate”), which purchased the company for in September of 2021 for $4.5 billion.
Signature was purchased for $4.7 billion in the same year by Blackstone, Bill Gates (through Cascade), and GIP, an $80 billion infrastructure fund.
Modern is owned by the formidable New York-based Tiger Infrastructure Partners.
These institutions have essentially unlimited resources and a fiduciary duty to extract the maximum value possible in any negotiation.
With respect to the FBO Review Committee, do they really stand a chance against these financial vipers? Does the Board of County Commissioners? Depending on the terms of this new lease agreement, this FBO will be immediately worth in excess of $100 million, potentially more. The county’s goal should be to extract this value from victorious RFP bidder.
Let’s avoid placing a puppy in a cage with three tigers with respect to the Review Committee and the financial institutions. No disrespect to those on the Review Committee, but the county owns too significant of an asset for it not to have the best advisers possible. Think Goldman Sachs, Bain & Company, or McKinsey & Company.
We need gals and guys who will bring a bazooka to a knife fight. The Aspen FBO is a top-5 FBO in the world (perhaps the best), and the county should extract maximum value from the likes of Bill Gates and Stephen A. Schwarzman for it.