BANGOR, Maine — A Bangor business that started as a mom-and-pop charter flight company in the early 1980s and grew to become a regional and national leader in airplane parts sales and maintenance has been sold.
The Telford Group Inc., which employs about 85 people at a facility on Odlin Road near Bangor International Airport, was acquired by ACC Holdings LLC of Milwaukee on Aug. 29.
Telford Allen II founded the company in Waterville in the 1980s before moving it to Bangor in the 1990s, but he hasn’t been heavily involved in operations for several years. His two sons, Telford Allen III and Travis Allen, held management positions with the company until just recently, when the Allen family decided to sell its interest.
“It’s purely a personal decision for them,” Telford President Bob Ziegelaar said Tuesday, speaking for the company. “The new ownership indicated to employees [this week] that it wants to see the company operate as is. What we do very much complements their current activities.”
ACC stands for Air Cargo Carriers, but the company is not expected to change Telford’s name.
Brien Gillstrom, a spokesman for ACC Holdings, could not be reached Tuesday for comment, but the company’s chairman, James Germek, said in a statement that he was optimistic about the acquisition.
“We will continue to pursue our aggressive growth strategy to maximize performance for the combined operations,” Germek said, although he acknowledged that there likely would be some consolidation in the near future.
ACC Holdings specializes in scheduled air cargo operations, aircraft integration, maintenance, overhaul and parts sales, according to information provided by Telford. The company operates cargo services for UPS and DHL and is the largest civilian operator of Shorts aircraft in the world, according to its Web site.
Ziegelaar said the sale has been in the works for a while, but it slowed down during the recent uncertain economic period. The terms of the private sale were not disclosed. The company president, a former director of Bangor International Airport, said he plans to stay on at Telford at least for the short term.
When Telford Allen launched his company in 1982 in Waterville, it was called Telford Aviation. He had four employees, two planes and a goal to develop a small charter business. Today, The Telford Group is a $50 million company boasting more than 100 employees in Maine, including a research and development facility at the former Loring Air Force Base in Limestone. The company also has added locations in Alabama, Texas and Maryland.
Instead of charters, Telford now has a booming parts sales business and millions of dollars in maintenance contracts with the federal government. For several years, aircraft have arrived at Telford from all over the world for regular maintenance. They are completely dismantled and reassembled within about a month’s time.
More recently, Telford has expanded into the government sector. In May 2008, the U.S. Army awarded Telford a $75 million contract to continue maintaining military aircraft and airborne reconnaissance surveillance systems used on the aircraft.