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Worldwide Flight Services to be acquired by SATS

SATS has reached an agreement to acquire Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) from an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management in a transaction valued at an enterprise value of €2.25 billion.

The transaction will bring together air cargo handler WFS and SATS, a provider of aviation services in Asia, in what the companies called 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’ CEO Craig Smyth said: “WFS has become the leading global air cargo logistics provider thanks to our commitment to customers, our experienced team, and our partners at Cerberus. 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.”

SATS’ CEO Kerry Mok 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.”

Cerberus’ managing director Craig Brooks said: “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 31 March 2023.

In connection with this transaction, WFS was advised by Goldman Sachs & Co. as exclusive financial advisor, Linklaters as lead counsel and Deloitte as tax advisor.

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