SATS Ltd., a catering and gateway services provider, is in ongoing discussions to acquire air cargo handler Worldwide Flight Services from its private equity owner Cerberus Capital Management.
Expanding its network and capabilities in Asia and across the globe is among the Singapore-based firm’s priorities and hence it’s constantly on the lookout for acquisition opportunities, SATS said in an exchange filing on Wednesday. There’s no certainty a deal could be struck and no definitive terms have been agreed upon on, it added.
Bloomberg News reported earlier that SATS is in talks to buy World Flight Services in a deal that could be worth as much as $3 billion. The company has sounded out financing for the potential purchase and an announcement could come as soon as in the coming weeks should the parties reach an agreement, people familiar with the matter have said.
Trading in SATS shares was halted in Singapore late Wednesday afternoon after the Bloomberg News report. The 6.375% bonds issued by Worldwide Flight Services via a vehicle jumped by a record 9 cents to 93 cents on the euro, according to CBBT pricing compiled by Bloomberg. The notes were the day’s biggest winners among European junk-rated bonds.
Founded in 1971, Paris-based Worldwide Flight Services 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 euros ($1.3 billion). Cerberus bought the French firm in 2018 for about 1.2 billion euros from Platinum Equity.
Any deal will add 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.