A group of investors have agreed to pay $5.2 billion to acquire the air freight provider Atlas Air Worldwide, which hauls e-commerce parcels for the retail titan Amazon on Boeing cargo jets, and take it private.
The bid comes from an investor group including funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management Inc. together with investment affiliates of J.F. Lehman & Company and Hill City Capital.
The move is Apollo’s latest investment in the logistics sector, following a 2021 investment in supply chain technology company Blume Global, and an early stake in the Dutch 3PL giant Ceva Logistics (now a unit of shipping and logistics provider CMA CGM Group). More recent deals include backing for high profile companies like Air France and full ownership of The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas.
Following completion of the deal, Atlas Air will become a privately held company and its shares will no longer be listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange. The firm will continue operating under the Atlas Air Worldwide name, be led by John Dietrich and the current executive team, and maintain its global presence.
Purchase, New York-based Atlas Air launched its relationship with Amazon in 2016 with a 10-year agreement to operate 20 Boeing 767-300 aircraft. That makes Atlas one of five airlines operating flights for Amazon Air, the cargo airline operating exclusively to transport Amazon packages.
At the end of 2021, Atlas Air said it had begun flying four flights per day from Amazon’s newest and largest air hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG). That hub serves as the nucleus of Amazon’s U.S. air cargo business spanning more than 40 airports nationwide, Atlas Air said.
That contract has helped Atlas Air produce strong profits. In its most recent earnings report, Atlas Air said it had earned second-quarter 2022 net income of $88.3 million, compared with net income of $107.1 million, in the second quarter of 2021.
“Atlas Air Worldwide is a market leader that continues to set higher standards for excellence within the airfreight industry,” Apollo partners Antoine Munfakh and Jason Scheir and J.F. Lehman & Co. partner Alex Harman said in a release. “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. We look forward to leveraging our resources, capital and experience in the sector to support the talented Atlas team, alongside our partners in this exciting next phase.”
Exciting news! Earlier today, we announced that Atlas Air Worldwide has agreed to be acquired by an investor group led by Apollo together with J.F. Lehman & Company and Hill City Capital, to become a private company. Important information and release here:https://t.co/KaAVrWZbpZ pic.twitter.com/Dbq2iAf9IR— Atlas Air Worldwide (@AtlasAirWW) August 4, 2022