SATS completes acquisition of WFS

Photo: WFS

Singapore-based aviation services company SATS has completed the acquisition of cargo handler Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) for €1.3bn.

SATS struck a deal last September to buy WFS from an affiliate of asset investor Cerberus Capital Management. The transaction has an enterprise value of €2.25bn.

WFS is now a fully owned subsidiary of SATS. The ground handling specialist will continue to be headquartered in Paris and operate as Worldwide Flight Services.

Craig Smyth, chief executive of WFS, will continue to run the company and report to Kerry Mok, president and chief executive of SATS, and an advisory board.

The acquisition received the support of 96.8% of SATS’ voting shareholders in January this year and obtained regulatory approvals in all relevant jurisdictions in February.

SATS is a major provider of food solutions and gateway services in Asia. As a combined company, SATS and WFS create an Americas-Europe-APAC network with a global footprint of 201 cargo and ground handling stations in 23 countries, covering trade routes responsible for more than 50% of global air cargo volume.

The combined group operates in five of the top 10 cargo airports in North America and Europe respectively, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Frankfurt, and Paris, and four of the top 10 cargo airports in Asia, including Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, and Beijing.

Mok said: “Recent global events have highlighted the importance of supply chain resiliency and an interconnected global network of cargo handling capabilities that provides speed, traceability, and certainty to our customers.

“SATS and WFS will provide our customers with the critical global cargo handling capability, and the scale advantage for us to develop and pioneer new solutions that will enhance our customers’ competitiveness.

“We welcome the management team and employees of WFS into the SATS family. Our focus is now on accelerating value creation for our customers over the medium term.”

Smyth added: “Our combination with SATS enhances our ability to provide end-to-end trade solutions, which is increasingly critical to our global customers. Together, we will drive technology and service innovations while maintaining our industry-leading standards of safety and security.

“We are very excited about the value we can deliver for customers from our combined capabilities and broader network.”

Cerberus senior managing director Craig Brooks commented: “We are incredibly proud to have partnered with WFS and its talented team. Over the past four and half years, WFS invested in its technology and operations, achieved tremendous growth and persevered through the Covid-19 pandemic. This strategic combination with SATS will support the company’s continued success and deliver great value for its customers.”

SATS shareholders approve WFS acquisition

SATS to buy Worldwide Flight Services in €2.25bn deal

SATS secures funding plan for WFS takeover

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]