RedBird Capital amasses over 5% stake in Blade


NY-based private equity firm RedBird Capital has now accumulated a more than 5% stake in Blade Air Mobility, according to founder and managing partner, Gerry Cardinale.

Blade saw a 9.21% increase upon publication of the news. RedBird, known most prominently for its investments in professional sports teams including the Boston Red Sox and AC Milan, originally took a 1% position in Blade back in 2021.

Cardinale has been a personal investor in Blade since 2016. The firm currently has a market value of about $272m, after a roughly 40% decline in its shares over the past year.

Reaching the 5% mark means RedBird now has observer rights on the board of directors, including access to company information.

Rob Wiesenthal, Blade CEO, said he believes combining air-mobility capabilities with entertainment and event opportunities in the RedBird portfolio will boost Blade’s business.

The investment is one of several aviation deals for RedBird, which has invested around $200m across these businesses, according to Cardinale. Other investments include Jet Linx Aviation, the short-haul private-jet operator Verijet Inc. and the airport hangar and fuelling operator Aero Centers. 

RedBird’s relationship with the jet operators will allow Blade to use aircraft for longer-distance medical-transportation missions, Wiesenthal confirmed to the Wall Street Journal.