Ground-handling and in-flight catering service provider Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS) has agreed to purchase Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) from an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management for €1.18bn in cash.

The deal is said to support SATS’ twin growth engine strategy and expand its network and capabilities in Asia as well as the global market.

SATS president and CEO Kerry Mok said: “This is a transformational opportunity for SATS, and our proposed acquisition of WFS will create a global leader that can become the go-to provider of mission-critical aviation services.

“From our hub in Singapore and 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.

“Combining with WFS will let us meet those needs through new cargo handling solutions and capabilities, enhanced service quality, greater digitalisation, and better visibility and traceability across the whole supply chain.”

Completion of the deal awaits the clearance of regulators and SATS shareholders, with completion anticipated by 31 March 2023.

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Once completed, WFS will become a wholly owned subsidiary of SATS. The WFS management will retain the leadership of the business, headed by Craig Smyth.

The consolidated network will cover trade routes accounting for more than 50% of global air cargo volume.

Smyth noted: “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 share similar values, and look forward to working with their senior team in building the pre-eminent aviation services platform. By bringing together our complementary strengths, we will be able to build on our trusted relationships around the world.”