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Blade Air Mobility Inc., best known for flying Manhattan’s elite to locations including the Hamptons, Nantucket and South Florida, is doubling down on the business of transporting human organs.
Blade, which went public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company earlier this year, agreed to buy Trinity Air Medical Inc., an air-transport firm that specializes in organs, Blade Chief Executive Officer Rob Wiesenthal said in an interview.
The CEO said Blade will pay $23 million for Tempe, Arizona-based Trinity, which is profitable, in a transaction that’s expected to make the combined company the largest organ air-transportation provider in the U.S.
“Given the existence of landing pads at most hospitals today, we have the ability to replace Trinity’s ambulances with helicopters on certain hospital-to-hospital missions immediately while preparing for a transition to both existing ‘last mile’ cargo drones as well as electric vertical aircraft as soon as they become available,” Wiesenthal said in an emailed statement Thursday.
Advances in organ-preservation technology have boosted demand for point-to-point organ transport by air, Trinity CEO Seth Bacon said, adding that drone and electric vertical aircraft technology have the potential to reduce transit times and improve patient outcomes. Bacon will become CEO of Blade MediMobility, the company’s organ-transport division.
“M&A is typically an unnatural act for high-growth companies,” Wiesenthal said. “If you have strong acquisition and integration expertise, as we do, it can be a terrific way to fortify your competitive stature while enjoying revenue enhancements and cost savings that benefit your overall business,” he said, pointing to Blade’s consolidation of the seaplane industry in the U.S. Northeast.
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