Winter Garden-basedTAG Aerois seekingan investor to help the company grow from one that repairs and refurbishes engine parts to one that can take apart and refurbish entire airplanes, following the city commission's approval Thursday of plans for a new office/warehouse headquarters building.
"We are actively looking for outside investment," said Myles Thomas, the company's managing director and founder. "We are literally at that crossroad now."
The company is looking for an investor to contribute "north of $5 million," said Thomas. "How that is used and what's given in return (for the investment) is an open question for us. Do we get a hedge fund loan? Do we look at giving out equity in the company? Really it is in the early stages."
What Thomas does know is that he doesn't want the company to be "a number on someone's balance sheet. To continue to grow we need flexibility of operations," he said.
"We have had talks with a couple of potential investors," he said, but plans to continue searching.
"You don't want to give away the jewels too much, but at the same time if you want to get to that next stage you have to make a commitment," Thomas continued.
While Thomas searches for the right capital, the company will build its new headquarters, with the hope it will be finished by the first quarter of next year. Mulligan Constructors is its general contractor.
The new $1.4 million headquarters will double the company's space in the Winter Garden Commerce Center at 660 Garden Commerce Parkway, on a 0.97-acre lot it bought for $215,000 last November. It operates now out of rental space at 1226 Winter Garden Vineland Road.
The company started by buying broken APU's (Automatic Power Units) from aircraft, then sending them out for repair and reselling them. APU's, typically located in the tails of airplanes, supply power for everything except the main engines themselves.
The company made a lot of fast-growing lists after it grew more than 4,000 percent from its first year in 2012 and 2014.
Then it started expanding its offerings and services to include other parts for planes. The next step, said Myles, is to start buying whole planes that they can take apart, recondition and then resell all the components.
That step would double or triple his current workforce of eight.