Combination will build upon Bridger’s strong financial performance, accelerate its expansion and strategic investment strategy, while helping to meet a critical public safety and environmental need
Only pure-play, public U.S. aerial firefighting services company to offer industry-leading tactical expertise and proprietary technological capabilities to combat year-round environmental and economic crises
Blackstone Tactical Opportunities, an early Bridger investor, to retain equity and two seats on the Company’s Board of Directors
Transaction values Bridger at $869 million on a pro forma enterprise value and is expected to infuse up to approximately $345 million of cash to the Company’s balance sheet, assuming no redemptions by Jack Creek’s public shareholders and before payment of transaction expenses; no minimum cash requirement or PIPE needed to close
BOZEMAN, Mont. and NEW YORK, Aug. 04, 2022 — Bridger Aerospace Group Holdings, LLC (“Bridger” or the “Company”), a leading independent provider of aerial firefighting services, and Jack Creek Investment Corp. (“Jack Creek”) (NASDAQ: JCIC), a special purpose acquisition company, today announced a definitive merger agreement that will result in Bridger becoming a publicly traded company. Upon completion of the proposed combination, the combined company will be named Bridger Aerospace Group Holdings, Inc. and is expected to list on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the ticker symbol “BAER.”
Founded in 2014 and led by current Chief Executive Officer and former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy, Bridger is a mission-driven company focused on addressing the year-round threat of economic and environmental damage caused by wildfires. Through its effective, modern and purposefully designed fleet of aircraft, Bridger provides its federal agency and state government client base with a comprehensive range of aerial firefighting solutions. Bridger operates a large and sophisticated fleet of firefighting aircraft, which includes “Super Scoopers” (CL-415EAF), air attack and logistical support aircraft (Next Generation Daher Kodiaks, Pilatus PC-12s, DeHavilland Twin Otter and legacy Twin Commanders), and UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). Bridger also offers FireTRAC, an innovative, proprietary data gathering, aerial surveillance and reporting platform that complements its fleet of firefighting assets.
Bridger has the ability to operate in all 50 states and a track record of strong financial performance supported by a recurring revenue model and multiple federal and state contracts. As climate conditions continue to evolve and create a longer, more intense wildfire season, a consistent and cost-effective solution is required. Bridger’s experience and expertise positions it to be the aerial firefighting solution of choice for federal, state and local governments.
Mr. Sheehy, who will continue to lead Bridger as Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Our mission at Bridger is simple: to save lives, preserve our environment, and protect the people and communities that are impacted by the growing wildfire crisis across the globe. Our team is proud to be on the frontlines, bringing our tactical military experience, operational capabilities, focus on safety and the technology solutions required to attack this problem head-on. In Jack Creek, we have found the right partner to meet this challenge, as they will provide us with the additional resources and management support to grow our fleet and expand our geographic presence.”
Through its partnership with Jack Creek, Bridger expects to be uniquely positioned to expand throughout North America and globally to meet the rising demand for these critical services. Jack Creek’s executive team has an extensive track record of building and operating high-performing, private and publicly traded businesses across various sectors. They will bring this expertise and history of entrepreneurship, innovation and capital allocation to create significant value for shareholders with this transaction. Jack Creek’s Executive Chairman, Jeffrey Kelter, will become Chairman of Bridger’s Board, which will include another member of Jack Creek’s deeply experienced leadership team. Funds managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities, as an early investor in Bridger, will remain an equity holder in the Company and retain two Board seats.
Mr. Kelter added, “Our priority for this transaction was to identify a company with exceptional leadership and operational expertise to take public and with which we could develop a true partnership. As a private company, Bridger has attracted the support of leading institutional investors and counts as equity holders some of the leading financial institutions and asset managers in the world. With its strong recurring revenue model, experienced management team and industry-leading aircraft fleet, the Company is well-positioned to grow and create significant and sustained value for investors and all stakeholders as it works to meet critical environmental and community needs.”
The business combination values Bridger at an implied $869 million pro forma enterprise value. The transaction, which does not have a minimum cash requirement or require a PIPE offering, is expected to deliver up to approximately $345 million of cash to Bridger’s balance sheet, assuming no redemptions by Jack Creek’s public shareholders and before payment of transaction expenses, leaving the Company better positioned to further expand its fleet and explore proprietary strategic investments.
The Boards of Directors of both Bridger and Jack Creek have unanimously approved the proposed business combination, which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2022, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the approval of Jack Creek’s shareholders.
Additional information about the proposed transaction, including a copy of the merger agreement and investor presentation, will be provided in a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed by Jack Creek with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available at www.sec.gov.
Sidley Austin LLP is serving as legal advisor to Bridger. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is serving as legal advisor to Jack Creek.
About Bridger Aerospace
Based in Bozeman, Montana, Bridger Aerospace Group Holdings, LLC is one of the nation’s largest privately held aerial firefighting companies. Bridger is committed to utilizing its team, aircraft and technology to save lives, property and habitats threatened by wildfires. Bridger provides aerial firefighting and wildfire management services to federal and state government agencies, including the United States Forest Service, across the nation. More information about the company is available at www.bridgeraerospace.com.
About Jack Creek Investment Corp.
Jack Creek Investment Corp. is a special purpose acquisition company formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses.