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California Pacific Airlines in negotiations for new ownership

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article contained several inaccuracies that have since been corrected.

Paragon Partners, as NewCo, is currently in negotiations to acquire the majority ownership in California Pacific Airlines, according to a recent release by Paragon obtained by The Coast News.

The acquisition group is chaired by Robert Nisi, a former securities attorney and active investment banker who was a part of the founding team, alongside Richard Branson, of Virgin American Airlines.

Nisi served as Virgin’s corporate director for several years before the company was sold to Alaska Airlines in 2016 for $2.6 billion.

If the deal is completed, Nisi would be named Chairman of CP Air.

“Our target is to close and get flight operations underway as soon as possible,” a Paragon associate said.

The planned acquisition includes assumption of debt, transfer of stock and cash considerations.

According to the release, operations will begin service with a 50 passenger Embraer-145 and a 70 passenger Embraer 170 and is estimated to phase in within six months, according to the release.

CP Air plans to provide service to six western cities with five aircraft initially, including San Jose, Oakland, Reno, Sacramento, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

Mr. Nisi, with airline experience and chairman-to-be of the revised CP Air, will partake in review and approving the airline executive team.

The company projects first-year operating revenues to be around the $70 million range and over $100 million the following year providing for full flight operations with five aircraft, ground support and terminal facilities.

Paragon’s planned acquisition of CP Air is also seeking to recapitalize the airline with an additional $35 million, but details of the negotiations between Paragon and CP Air ownership remain confidential, as are the details of the capital raise.

In February, CP Air engaged Glidepath Capital Partners, an aviation/aerospace investment banker, to manage the acquisition and capital raise process, which includes the transfer of ownership and control.

Current owner Vallas could not be reached for comment.

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