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3i-backed Smarte Carte acquires Aviation Mobility and closes a $225 million refinancing

3i-backed Smarte Carte, a leading concessionaire of essential infrastructure equipment, has acquired Aviation Mobility, LLC (‘Aviation Mobility’), a leading US provider of legally mandated wheelchairs in the commercial aviation sector.

Aviation Mobility is present at over 300 airports, primarily in the US, and has a fleet of c.15,000 wheelchairs. The company is known for its strong customer service and its industry-leading deployment times and has long-term customer relationships, averaging 15 years.

In addition, Smarte Carte successfully closed a $225m senior debt refinancing. Proceeds were used to refinance existing debt and provide a distribution to shareholders.

Rob Collins, Managing Partner, 3i North American Infrastructure, commented:

“The acquisition of Aviation Mobility, which offers identifiable synergies and cross-selling opportunities with our existing platform, is consistent with our thesis to acquire complementary businesses and integrate them into Smarte Carte.

We are also pleased with the company’s successful refinancing which saw strong demand from infrastructure lenders, reflecting a high level of confidence in Smarte Carte’s essential service offering, strategy and management team.” 



3i Group plc

Silvia Santoro

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Tel: +44 20 7975 3258


Kathryn van der Kroft

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Tel: +44 20 7975 3021


Notes to editors:

About 3i Group

3i is a leading international investment manager focused on mid-market Private Equity and Infrastructure. Its core investment markets are northern Europe and North America. For further information, please visit:

About Smarte Carte

Headquartered in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, the Company is a leading supplier and manager of vended equipment in the travel and leisure industry. Smarte Carte owns and manages baggage carts as the sole provider in 125 locations (including 49 of the top 50 airports in the U.S.). The Company also owns and manages lockers and other consumer-rental equipment in amusement parks, fitness clubs, shopping malls and ski resorts.

About Aviation Mobility

Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Aviation Mobility is the leading domestic provider of legally mandated mobility equipment for special assistance passengers in the commercial aviation sector.  Aviation Mobility primarily leases wheelchairs to major airlines, airport authorities, and wheelchair transportation service companies with a fleet of over 15,000 wheelchairs deployed in over 300 airports.

Regulatory information

This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Corporation, a US wholly owned subsidiary of 3i Group.

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