Acquisitions in the logistics world seem to be popping up everywhere. Worldwide Flight Service, a cargo handler at more than 140 airports in 22 countries, has been sold to Platinum Equity, a private equity firm based in Los Angeles.
WFS provides ramp service for 300 airlines globally, handling 4 million tonnes of cargo and 50 million airline passengers each year. WFS was sold to Platinum Equity by LBO France, which acquired it in 2006 from Vinci Construction. The company has grown from a family business, now employing 12,000 people worldwide.
“With an equity partner the deal is clear. It is bringing us the means to make sure the company will grow. For us it’s the chance we need,” said Olivier Bijaoui, president and CEO of WFS.
From 2006 to 2015, WFS has expanded its presence in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, and in complementary industries, including management of cruise terminals. Most recently the company acquired a controlling stake in Orbital Group, a leading Brazilian provider of ramp, passenger and airport security services. Platinum Equity has experience managing companies in transportation logistics and distribution services, including aviation.
The deal is scheduled to close in June, subject to customary regulatory consents and approvals.