Next Level Plans Inventory Growth After $15 Million Investment

Next Level Aviation, a supplier of used serviceable materials (USM) for Boeing and Airbus platforms, will look to grow its core engine material resources after a $15 million equity infusion from investment company Turning Rock Partners earlier this month.

Turning Rock, based in New York City and managing $400 million in assets since forming in 2017, closed its investment in Next Level in December—the tenth investment from its first fund—before announcing the agreement in early-January. According to the company’s website, it targets debt, equity and hybrid investments in underserved or capital constrained lower-middle market businesses in North America. 

Next Level is located west of Fort Lauderdale in Florida and turned over approximately $30 million in 2019. The company focuses on parts for the Boeing 737NG and 777, along with Airbus A320 and A330 aircraft and their engines. 

“While we had a decent amount of resources, working with trading partners such as Honeywell and Collins, we didn’t have anywhere near the amount we wanted prior to the investment,” say Jack Gordon, managing member of Next Level and one of the co-founders the business nearly seven years ago. “Now that we have these resources, it feels like the last piece of the puzzle.”

It will now venture into new parts of the USM market to utilize this investment, he adds. “The business was built on QEC material such as engine accessories, APUs and their accessories along with airframe components. Post-closing, we will focus more on core engine materials such as life-limited parts, non-LLPs as well as structures material.” 

Gordon uses various sources for these hard to find materials, calling on its network of teardown companies and trading firms buying surplus material from airlines. He foresees Next Level doing this to find these core engine materials.

The agreement also clears the way for potential follow-on investments, as the company continues its expansion. Gordon says Next Level is eyeing a new facility in Europe, with Ireland identified as a potential location. While ideally there would be plans to expand into Asia-Pacific, Gordon says the company needs to see how this develops due to it having little presence in the region. 

Additional manpower is also in the offing, Gordon says. When the investment was consummated last month, Next Level employed 14 people but this number has since climbed to 21. “We plan to employ a further four people by the end of February,” he says. 

James Pozzi

As Aviation Week's MRO Editor EMEA, James Pozzi covers the latest industry news from the European region and beyond. He also writes in-depth features on the commercial aftermarket for Inside MRO.