TPG Capital was named as a possible co-investor by American Airlines for an investment in the struggling Japan Airlines (JAL). TPG has a history of investing in airlines including, Continental, Midwest Air Group and XOJet. An investment in Japan Airlines would be a hot deal for any of the major U.S. based carriers, which are all currently trying to gain a share of JAL's extensive Japanese and Chinese Routes.
Private equity firms have invested over $14 billion in 67 airline industry companies since the beginning of 2006, according to the PitchBook Platform. The largest deal was Terra Firma Capital Partners' $5.2 billion acquisition of Pegasus Aviation Finance in 2007, followed by the TPG-led $2.5 billion investment in XOJET in 2008. Of airline industry deals, 60 were buyouts and 29 were add-ons. The most acquisitive groups in this space has been ABS Capital Partners, Brantley Partners and HSBC Private Equity-backed JetDirect Aviation, which has made 10 add-on acquisitions of aircraft servicing companies over the past four years.