RedBird Capital builds 5% stake in Blade Air Mobility – WSJ

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RedBird Capital Partners has built a more than 5% position in Blade Air Mobility Inc (NASDAQ:BLDE), according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

The report, which cites the private equity firm’s founder, Gerry Cardinale, said RedBird initially took a 1% stake in the air transportation provider in 2021.

RedBird is well known for its investments in media businesses and sports teams such as AC Milan and the Boston Red Sox. At the time of its 2021 investment in BLDE, it is said to have participated in a private investment in public equity at that time.

This was alongside Blade’s merger with a special-purpose acquisition company.

The WSJ said Cardinale has been a personal investor in BLDE since 2016. Its share price is currently up 5% on Wednesday but has declined 38% in the last 12 months.

With RedBird crossing the 5% mark in its Blade position, it now has observer rights on the board of directors, which includes the ability to access company information and collaborate with management.

The WSJ said Cardinale told them the investment is one of many aviation deals for the private equity firm, which has invested approximately $200 million across these businesses, he said.