Not first time Bonderman has made lots of cash


Mr David Bonderman's Texas Pacific Group (TPG) stands to make more than $370 million (€420 million) from the sale of Aerfi, but it is not the first time he has made a lot of money from an Irish company involved in the airline business. Mr Bonderman's investment vehicle has made millions from its investments in lowfares airline Ryanair, in the improved fortunes of which Mr Bonderman played a role.

In 1998, TPG became a major investor in Aerfi (then known as the GPA Group), taking a stake of up to 47.7 per cent under a restructuring package.

Texas-based Mr Bonderman was a former associate of the billionaire Mr Robert Bass, before going out on his own to make his first major deal in 1993. In April of that year, he led a $450 million re-financing of Continental Airlines, to take it out of bankruptcy for the second time.

Air Partners, a subsidiary of TPG, took a stake in Continental through a $64.3 million investment. Less than 18 months after the Continental deal, TPG also helped bring American West Airlines out of Chapter 11 protection in a deal which gave Mr Bonderman and his associates 33.5 per cent of the company for $43.6 million.

In 1996, Mr Bonderman took a 16 per cent stake in Ryanair. He paid £1 million (€1.27 million) as well as providing loans of £24 million for his investment under a complex restructuring which saw the Ryan family receive around £50 million. Over the years, Mr Bonderman's group has gradually decreased its shareholding in Ryanair.

Mr Bonderman is originally from New York and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. He taught for two years in New Orleans before joining the Civil Rights Division of the US Justice Department. He completed a Harvard fellowship and joined a Washington-based law firm before becoming an adviser to Mr Bass in 1983.