Worldwide Flight Services (“WFS”) announced that SATS Ltd. (“SATS”) has reached an agreement to acquire WFS from an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management (“Cerberus”). The transaction is valued at an enterprise value of €2.25 billion.
The transaction will bring together WFS, the world’s largest air cargo handler with leadership positions in the Americas and Europe, and SATS, the leading provider of aviation services in Asia. This combination creates a first-of-its-kind global air cargo platform with scale and a network of stations across Asia, the Americas, and Europe. Customers will benefit from the combined platform’s broader suite of services, operational best practices, and integrated technology.
“WFS has become the leading global air cargo logistics provider thanks to our commitment to customers, our experienced team, and our partners at Cerberus,” said Craig Smyth, WFS CEO. “As we look to our next stage of growth, this combination will deliver exciting benefits for our customers and our people. We have great respect for SATS and enjoy similar values. By bringing together our respective strengths, we will be able to build on our trusted relationships around the world.”
Kerry Mok, SATS CEO, commented: “WFS is an industry leader because it has dedicated people and an unwavering commitment to customers. Our proposed acquisition is a transformational opportunity for SATS and will create a global leader and a go-to provider of mission critical aviation services. In our newly combined markets, SATS and WFS will be at the heart of global trade flows, operating in the world’s busiest airports and supporting the biggest companies.”
From Cerberus, financial sponsor since 2018, Managing Director Craig Brooks commented: “It has been a privilege to work alongside the talented WFS team and support the company in reaching new heights. Over the past four years, WFS has become a global leader by growing its network and investing in technology, operating capabilities, and customer solutions. SATS is a great partner for WFS and the combination will enhance growth and the value proposition for customers.”
Following the close of the transaction, WFS will become a wholly owned subsidiary of SATS and the WFS management team will continue to lead the business.
The transaction is subject to customary regulatory and SATS shareholders’ approval and is expected to close by March 31, 2023.
In connection with this transaction, WFS was advised by Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC as exclusive financial advisor, Linklaters LLP as lead counsel and Deloitte LLP as tax advisor.