Atlas Air to be acquired for $5.2B by group led by investment firm Apollo

Atlas Air Twitter account

Air-freight company Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc. announced that it will be acquired by an investor group led by Apollo, together With J.F. Lehman & company, and Hill City Capital.

The all-cash transaction has an enterprise valuation of approximately $5.2 billion, Atlas Air said.

Atlas Air Worldwide was founded in 1992, and currently owns the largest fleet of Boeing 747s, with 38 under its fleet in both service and storage.

Atlas Air Worldwide’s companies—Atlas Air, Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, Titan Aviation—manage and operate for customers around the world, including to any city capable of handling a Boeing 747. In 2020, it operated more than 68,000 flights.

The deal comes amid the pandemic-driven boom in air cargo demand, which saw many operators shift to freight operations while passenger planes. In addition, many companies are increasingly turning to air freight to get goods to customers quickly due to global supply chain disruptions and increased demand for eCommerce. 

With the strong market demand and long-term secular tailwinds for global air cargo services, Atlas is poised to capitalize on many opportunities for continued growth as a fund portfolio company of Apollo, J.F. Lehman and Hill City,” commented Apollo.

A spokesman for Atlas told Bloomberg that the equity value of the transaction is about $3.2 billion, while the deal’s enterprise value including debt is about $5.2 billion.

Under the transaction agreement,  Atlas Air shareholders will receive $102.50 per share in cash, representing a 57% premium to the 30-day volume-weighted average trading price per share of Atlas Air Worldwide common stock as of July 29, 2022.

Upon completion of the transaction, Atlas Air Worldwide will become a privately held company and shares of Atlas Air Worldwide common stock will no longer be listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022 or the first quarter 2023.

“Over our 30-year history, Atlas Air Worldwide has grown to become a global leader in airfreight, delivering high-quality services to our diverse roster of customers around the world,” John Dietrich, president and chief executive officer of Atlas Air Worldwide said in a statement dated August 4, 2022. 

Dietrich added: “Following the closing of the sale to the Consortium, we will seek to leverage their resources, relationships and industry expertise to build on our strong financial and operational performance. Their investment in our company demonstrates their confidence in our people and our culture as we serve the growing needs of the global supply chain.”

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