Singapore's SATS to buy Worldwide Flight Services in €2.25 bil deal

Singapore's SATS to buy Worldwide Flight Services in €2.25 bil deal
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HONG KONG (Sept 28): SATS Ltd, a catering and gateway service provider, has agreed to acquire air cargo handler Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) at an enterprise value of €2.25 billion (RM9.97 billion).

The Singapore-listed firm will pay about €1.2 billion in cash for WFS, according to a statement on Wednesday. SATS last week confirmed it was in ongoing discussions with Cerberus Capital Management to acquire the air cargo handler after ^Bloomberg News reported that it was in talks for a potential deal.

The deal will be financed with a S$1.7 billion (RM5.44 billion) equity fundraising, with the balance coming from internal cash resources, SATS said. The acquisition is expected to close in March 2023. 

Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd, which owns about a 39.7% stake in SATS, has agreed to vote in favour of the acquisition. 

"This is a transformational opportunity for SATS," chief executive officer Kerry Mok said. "Our customers are telling us that they want seamless support across regions. It is a hugely powerful combination for growth."

Founded in 1971, Paris-based WFS is the world's largest air cargo handler operating in more than 160 major airports in over 20 countries, according to its website. The company also provides ground handling services as well as technical support to airlines. Its annual sales stood at €1.3 billion. Cerberus bought the French firm from Platinum Equity in 2018 for about €1.2 billion.

The deal adds to a wave of acquisitions betting on the rising demand for logistics services as global travel resumes. Singapore's PSA International Pte Ltd last December agreed to acquire BDP International Inc, a transportation company, from US buyout firm Greenbriar Equity Group.