IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
SIGNATURE FLIGHT SUPPORT
INTERNATIONAL GROUP, INC.
Civil Action No.:
Filed: October 11, 2001
WHEREAS, plaintiff, the United States of America ("United States"), filed its complaint
in this action on June 20, 2001, and plaintiff and defendants, Signature Flight Support
Corporation ("Signature") and Ranger Aerospace Corporation ("Ranger"), by their respective
attorneys, having consented to the entry of this Final Judgment without trial or adjudication of
any issue of fact or law, and without this Final Judgment constituting any evidence against or
admission by any party regarding any issue of law or fact;
AND WHEREAS, defendants have agreed to be bound by the provisions of this Final
Judgment pending its approval by the Court;
AND WHEREAS, the essence of this Final Judgment is prompt and certain divestiture of
certain rights or assets by the defendants to assure that competition is not substantially lessened;
AND WHEREAS, plaintiff requires defendants to make certain divestitures for the
purpose of remedying the loss of competition alleged in the Complaint;
AND WHEREAS, defendants have represented to the United States that the divestitures
required below can and will be made, and that defendants will later raise no claim of hardship or
difficulty as grounds for asking the Court to modify any of the divestiture provisions contained
NOW, THEREFORE, before the taking of any testimony, and without trial or
adjudication of any issue of fact or law, and upon consent of the parties, it is hereby ORDERED,
ADJUDGED, AND DECREED:
This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action and over each of the
parties in this action. The Complaint states a claim upon which relief may be granted against the
defendants, as defined below, under Section 7 of the Clayton Act, as amended (15 U.S.C. § 18).
As used in this Final Judgment:
- "Acquirer" means the entity to whom defendants divest the Assets to be Divested.
- "Signature" means defendant Signature Flight Support Corporation, a Delaware
corporation with a principal place of business in Orlando, Florida, its successors and assigns, and
its parents, subsidiaries, divisions, groups, affiliates, partnerships, and joint ventures, and their
directors, officers, managers, agents, and employees.
- "Ranger" means Ranger Aerospace Corporation, a Delaware corporation
headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, its successors and assigns, and its parents,
subsidiaries, divisions, groups, affiliates, partnerships, and joint ventures, and their directors,
officers, managers, agents, and employees. One of Ranger's wholly owned subsidiaries, Aircraft
Service International Group, Inc. ("ASIG"), a Delaware corporation headquartered in Dania,
Florida, operates the Assets to be Divested, as defined in Section II(G).
- "MCO Airport" means Orlando International Airport, located in the Orlando,
Florida metropolitan area.
- "FBO Services" means any or all services related to providing fixed base operator
services to general aviation customers at MCO Airport, including, but not limited to, selling fuel,
leasing hangar, ramp, and office space, providing flight support services, performing
maintenance, providing access to terminal facilities, or arranging for ancillary services such as
rental cars or hotels, but does not include assets related to the commercial jet fueling business at
MCO Airport of any of the defendants.
- "FBO Facility" means any and all tangible and intangible assets that comprise the
business of providing FBO Services, including, but not limited to, all personal property,
inventory, office furniture, materials, supplies, terminal space, hangars, ramps, general aviation
fuel tank farms for jet aviation fuel and aviation gas, and related fueling and maintenance
equipment, and other tangible property and all assets used exclusively in connection with the
business of providing FBO Services; all licenses, permits, and authorizations issued by any
governmental organization relating to the business of providing FBO Services subject to
licensor's approval or consent; all contracts, teaming arrangements, agreements, leases,
commitments, certifications, and understandings relating to the business of providing FBO
Services, including supply agreements; all customer lists, contracts, accounts, and credit records;
all repair and performance records and all other records relating to the business of providing FBO
Services; all intangible assets used in the development, production, servicing, and sale of FBO
Services, including, but not limited to, all licenses and sublicenses, technical information,
computer software and related documentation, know-how, drawings, blueprints, designs, design
protocols, specifications for materials, specifications for parts and devices, and safety procedures
for the handling of materials and substances.
- The "Assets to be Divested" means all rights, titles and interests, including all fee,
leasehold and real property rights, in the existing FBO Facility that Signature will acquire from
ASIG at MCO Airport.
This Final Judgment applies to Signature, Ranger and ASIG, as defined above,
and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them who receive actual notice
of this Final Judgment by personal service or otherwise.
Defendants shall require, as a condition of the sale or other disposition of all or
substantially all of their assets or of lesser business units that include the Assets to be Divested,
that the purchaser agrees to be bound by the provisions of this Final Judgment, provided,
however, that defendants need not obtain such an agreement from the Acquirer.
DIVESTITURE OF THE ASSETS
- Defendants are ordered and directed, within one hundred twenty (120) calendar
days after the filing of the Complaint in this matter, or five (5) days after notice of entry of this
Final Judgment by the Court, whichever is later, to divest the Assets to be Divested in a manner
consistent with this Final Judgment to an Acquirer acceptable to the United States in its sole
discretion. The United States, in its sole discretion, may agree to an extension of this time period
of up to two thirty (30) day periods, not to exceed sixty (60) calendar days in total, and shall
notify the Court in such circumstances. If pending state or local regulatory approval is the only
remaining matter precluding a divestiture after the 120-day period, the United States will not
withhold its agreement to an extension of the period. Defendants agree to use their best efforts to
divest the Assets to be Divested as expeditiously as possible.
- In accomplishing the divestiture ordered by this Final Judgment, defendants
promptly shall make known, by usual and customary means, the availability of the Assets to be
Divested. Defendants shall inform any person making inquiry regarding a possible purchase of
the Assets to be Divested that they are being divested pursuant to this Final Judgment and
provide such person with a copy of this Final Judgment. Defendants shall offer to furnish to all
prospective Acquirers, subject to customary confidentiality assurances, all information and
documents regarding the Assets to be Divested customarily provided in a due diligence process,
except such information or documents subject to the attorney-client or attorney work-product
privileges. Defendants shall make available such information to the United States at the same
time that such information is made available to any other person.
Defendants shall provide the Acquirer and the United States information relating
to the personnel involved in the operation, management, and sale of the Assets to be Divested to
enable the Acquirer to make offers of employment. Defendants will not interfere with any
negotiations by the Acquirer to employ any defendant employee whose primary responsibility is
the operation, management, and sale of the Assets to be Divested.
- Defendants shall permit prospective Acquirers of the Assets to be Divested to
have reasonable access to personnel and to make such inspection of the physical facilities of the
Assets to be Divested; access to any and all environmental, zoning, and other permit documents
and information; and access to any and all financial, operational, or other documents and
information customarily provided as part of a due diligence process.
- Defendants shall warrant to the Acquirer of the Assets to be Divested that each
asset will be operational on the date of sale.
- Defendants shall not take any action that will impede in any way the permitting,
operation, or divestiture of the Assets to be Divested.
- Defendants shall warrant to the Acquirer of the Assets to be Divested that there
are no material defects in the environmental, zoning, or other permits pertaining to the operation
of each asset, and that following the sale of the Assets to be Divested, defendants will not
undertake, directly or indirectly, any challenges to the environmental, zoning, or other permits
relating to the operation of the Assets to be Divested.
- Unless the United States otherwise consents in writing, the divestiture pursuant to
Section IV, or by a trustee appointed pursuant to Section V, of this Final Judgment, shall include
the entire Assets to be Divested and shall be accomplished in such a way as to satisfy the United
States, in its sole discretion, that the Assets to be Divested can and will be used by the Acquirer
as part of a viable, on going business engaged in providing FBO Services at MCO Airport. The
divestiture, whether pursuant to Section IV or Section V of this Final Judgment: (1) shall be
made to an Acquirer that in the United States's sole judgment has the capability and intent
(including the necessary managerial, operational, technical, and financial capability) of
competing effectively in the provision of FBO Services at MCO Airport; and (2) shall be
accomplished so as to satisfy the United States, in its sole discretion, that none of the terms of
any agreement between an Acquirer and defendants gives defendants the ability unreasonably to
raise the Acquirer's costs, to lower the Acquirer's efficiency, or otherwise to interfere in the
ability of the Acquirer to compete effectively.
APPOINTMENT OF TRUSTEE
- If defendants have not divested the Assets to be Divested within the time period
specified in Section IV(A) of this Final Judgment, defendants shall notify the United States of
that fact in writing. Upon application of the United States, the Court shall appoint a trustee
selected by the United States and approved by the Court to effect the divestiture of the Assets to
- After the appointment of a trustee becomes effective, only that trustee shall have
the right to sell the Assets to be Divested. The trustee shall have the power and authority to
accomplish the divestiture to an Acquirer acceptable to the United States at such price and on
such terms as are then obtainable upon reasonable effort by the trustee, subject to the provisions
of Sections IV, V, and VI of this Final Judgment, and shall have such other powers as this Court
deems appropriate. Subject to Section V(D) of this Final Judgment, the trustee may hire at the
cost and expense of defendants any investment bankers, attorneys, or other agents, who shall be
solely accountable to the trustee, reasonably necessary in the judgment of the trustee to assist in
- Defendants shall not object to a sale by the trustee on any ground other than the
trustee's malfeasance. Any such objections by defendants must be conveyed in writing to the
United States and the trustee within ten (10) days after the trustee has provided the notice
required under Section VI of this Final Judgment.
- A trustee shall serve at the cost and expense of defendants, on such terms and
conditions as the plaintiff approves, and shall account for all monies derived from the sale of the
assets sold by the trustee and all costs and expenses so incurred. After approval by the Court of
the trustee's accounting, including fees for its services and those of any professionals and agents
retained by the trustee, all remaining money shall be paid to defendants and the trust shall then be
terminated. The compensation of the trustee and any professionals and agents retained by the
trustee shall be reasonable in light of the value of the Assets to be Divested and based on a fee
arrangement providing the trustee with an incentive based on the price and terms of the
divestiture and the speed with which it is accomplished, but timeliness is paramount.
- Defendants shall use their best efforts to assist the trustee in accomplishing the
required divestiture. The trustee and any consultants, accountants, attorneys, and other persons
retained by the trustee shall have full and complete access to the personnel, books, records, and
facilities of the Assets to be Divested, and defendants shall develop financial or other information
relevant to the Assets to be Divested as the trustee may reasonably request, subject to reasonable
protection for trade secrets or other confidential research, development, or commercial
information. Defendants shall take no action to interfere with or to impede the trustee's
accomplishment of the divestiture.
- After its appointment, the trustee shall file monthly reports with the United States
and the Court setting forth that trustee's efforts to accomplish the divestiture ordered under this
Final Judgment. To the extent such reports contain information that the trustee deems
confidential, such reports shall not be filed in the public docket of the Court. Such reports shall
include the name, address and telephone number of each person who, during the preceding
month, made an offer to acquire, expressed an interest in acquiring, entered into negotiations to
acquire, or was contacted or made an inquiry about acquiring, any interest in the Assets to be
Divested, and shall describe in detail each contact with any such person. The trustee shall
maintain full records of all efforts made to divest the Assets to be Divested.
- If the trustee has not accomplished the divestiture within six (6) months after its
appointment, the trustee shall file promptly with the Court a report setting forth: (1) the trustee's
efforts to accomplish the required divestiture, (2) the reasons, in the trustee's judgment, why the
required divestiture has not been accomplished, and (3) the trustee's recommendations. To the
extent such reports contain information that the trustee deems confidential, such reports shall not
be filed in the public docket of the Court. The trustee shall at the same time furnish such report
to the United States, who shall have the right to make additional recommendations consistent
with the purpose of the trust. The Court shall thereafter enter such orders as it shall deem
appropriate to carry out the purpose of the Final Judgment, which may, if necessary, include
extending the trust and the term of the trustee's appointment for a period requested by the United
NOTICE OF PROPOSED DIVESTITURE
- Within two (2) business days following execution of a definitive divestiture
agreement, defendants or a trustee, whichever is then responsible for effecting the divestiture
required herein, shall notify the United States of any proposed divestiture required by Section IV
or V of this Final Judgment. If a trustee is responsible, the trustee shall similarly notify
defendants. The notice shall set forth the details of the proposed divestiture and list the name,
address, and telephone number of each person not previously identified who offered, or
expressed an interest in or a desire to acquire any ownership interest in the Assets to be Divested
together with full details of same.
- Within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt by the United States of such notice,
the United States may request from defendants, the proposed Acquirer, any other third party, or
the trustee if applicable, additional information concerning the proposed divestiture, the proposed
Acquirer, and any other potential Acquirer. Defendants and the trustee shall furnish any
additional information requested within fifteen (15) calendar days of the receipt of the request,
unless the parties shall otherwise agree.
- Within thirty (30) calendar days after receipt of the notice or within twenty (20)
calendar days after the United States has been provided the additional information requested from
defendants, the proposed Acquirer, any third party, and the trustee, whichever is later, the United
States shall provide written notice to defendants and the trustee, if there is one, stating whether or
not it objects to the proposed divestiture. If the United States provides written notice that it does
not object, the divestiture may be consummated, subject only to defendant's limited right to
object to the sales under Section V(C) of this Final Judgment. Absent written notice that the
United States does not object to the proposed Acquirer or upon objection by the United States,
the divestiture proposed under Section IV or V shall not be consummated. Upon objection by
defendants under Section V(C), a divestiture proposed under Section V shall not be consummated
unless approved by the Court.
- Within twenty (20) calendar days of the filing of the Complaint in this matter and
every thirty (30) calendar days thereafter until the divestiture has been completed under Section
IV or Section V, defendants shall deliver to the United States an affidavit as to the fact and
manner of compliance with Section IV or Section V of this Final Judgment. Each such affidavit
shall include the name, address, and telephone number of each person who, during the preceding
thirty (30) days, made an offer to acquire, expressed an interest in acquiring, entered into
negotiations to acquire, or was contacted or made an inquiry about acquiring, any interest in the
Assets to be Divested, and shall describe in detail each contact with any such person during that
period. Each such affidavit shall also include a description of the efforts defendants have taken to
solicit buyers for the Assets to be Divested and to provide required information to prospective
purchasers, including the limitations, if any, on such information. Assuming the information set
forth in the affidavit is true and complete, any objection by the United States to information
provided by the defendants, including limitation on information, shall be made within fourteen
(14) days of receipt of such affidavit.
- Within twenty (20) calendar days of the filing of the Complaint in this matter,
defendants shall deliver to the United States an affidavit that describes in reasonable detail all
actions defendants have taken and all steps defendants have implemented on an on going basis to
comply with Section VIII of this Final Judgment. Defendants shall deliver to the United States
an affidavit describing any changes to the efforts and actions outlined in defendants' earlier
affidavits filed pursuant to this section within fifteen (15) calendar days after the change is
- Defendants shall keep all records of all efforts made to preserve and divest the
Assets to be Divested until one year after the divestiture has been completed.
HOLD SEPARATE ORDER
Until the divestiture required by this Final Judgment has been accomplished, defendants
shall take all steps necessary to comply with the Hold Separate Stipulation and Order entered by
this Court. Defendants shall take no action that would jeopardize the divestiture order by this
Defendants shall not finance all or any part of any purchase made pursuant to Section IV
or V of this Final Judgment.
- For the purpose of determining or securing compliance with this Final Judgment,
or of determining whether the Final Judgment should be modified or vacated, and subject to any
legally recognized privilege, from time to time duly authorized representatives of the United
States Department of Justice, including consultants and other persons retained by the United
States, shall upon written request of a duly authorized representative of the Assistant Attorney
General in charge of the Antitrust Division, and on reasonable notice to defendants be permitted:
- access during defendants' office hours to inspect and copy, or at
defendants' option, to require defendants to provide copies of, all books,
ledgers, accounts, records, and documents in the possession, custody, or
control of defendants relating to any matters contained in this Final
- to interview, either informally or on the record, defendants' officers,
employees, or agents, who may have their individual counsel present,
regarding such matters. The interviews shall be subject to the reasonable
convenience of the interviewee and without restraint or interference by
- Upon the written request of a duly authorized representative of the Assistant
Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, defendants shall submit written reports,
under oath if requested, relating to any of the matters contained in this Final Judgment.
- No information nor any documents obtained by the means provided in this Section
shall be divulged by the United States to any person other than a duly authorized representative
of the executive branch of the United States, except in the course of legal proceedings to which
the United States is a party (including grand jury proceedings), or for the purpose of securing
compliance with this Final Judgment, or as otherwise required by law.
- If at the time information or documents are furnished by defendants to the United
States, defendants represent and identify in writing the material in any such information or
documents for which a claim of protection may be asserted under Rule 26(c)(7) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, and defendants mark each pertinent page of such material, "Subject to
claim of protection under Rule 26(c)(7) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure," then the United
States shall give defendants ten (10) calendar days prior to divulging such material in any legal
proceeding (other than a grand jury proceeding).
Defendants may not reacquire any part of the Assets to be Divested during the term of this
RETENTION OF JURISDICTION
This Court retains jurisdiction to enable any party to this Final Judgment to apply to this
Court at any time for such further orders and directions as may be necessary or appropriate to
carry out or construe this Final Judgment, to modify any of its provisions, to enforce compliance,
and to punish violations of its provisions.
EXPIRATION OF FINAL JUDGMENT
Unless this Court grants an extension, this Final Judgment shall expire ten years from the
date of its entry.
PUBLIC INTEREST DETERMINATION
Entry of this Final Judgment is in the public interest.
Dated: October 11, 2001
Court approval subject to procedures of Antitrust
Procedures and Penalties Act, 15 U.S.C. § 16
United States District Judge