ACS is the largest air charter broker in the world. Based in Surbiton in SW London, it supplies freight planes, private jets and commercial jets to governments, companies and individuals on a global basis.
The Alcuin team led by Adrian Lurie and Neil Wilson organised the recapitalisation of ACS in 2016. Alcuin became a large minority shareholder in the business – and at the time this was the first private equity investment in the air charter industry, a segment of the aviation industry dominated by UK-based firms.
ACS has performed very strongly since the Alcuin investment and has handled the complex impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the aviation market. Throughout this period the company has continued to invest in technology, brokers and new offices.
It currently employs more than 500 brokers in 30 offices in Europe, the Far East and the USA. Gross revenue exceeded £1.3 billion last year.
During the Covid pandemic, the operational strengths of ACS and its heritage in disaster-relief aid and evacuations helped it source flight capacity in a challenging market, and ACS was a major global transporter of vaccines and PPE.
In 2022 Alcuin agreed to sell the majority of its equity stake in ACS back to Chris Leach, the founder of the business, making a return of over 5x ROC. Alcuin remains a significant minority investor in ACS.