SATS to acquire WFS for €2.25 billion, will be turned into a global air cargo handling platform

Published: Tuesday, October 4, 2022

PARIS, France—Worldwide Flight Services (“WFS”) is set to be acquired by SATS Ltd. (“SATS”) for €2.25 billion with the transaction expected to be closed and fully executed by March 31, 2023.

SATS, the leading provider of aviation services in Asia listed at the Singapore Stock Exchange since 2000, has reached an agreement to acquire WFS from an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management. 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 will bring together WFS, the world’s largest air cargo handler with leadership positions in the Americas and Europe, and SATS. 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.”

WFS was advised by Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC as exclusive financial advisor, Linklaters LLP as lead counsel and Deloitte LLP as tax advisor.

Founded in 1984, WFS is the world’s largest air cargo logistics provider and one of the leading providers of ground handling and technical services with annual revenues of €1.8 billion. Its more than 30,000 employees serve over 300 customers at 164 major airports in 18 countries on five continents.