Private equity players swoop on WFCI

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PAI Partners and Baring Private Equity Asia have agreed to acquire World Freight Company International, which manages cargo freight capacity for more than 200 airline customers on more than 16,000 routes. The sellers are Greenbriar Equity Group and Pierre Brunet, chairman of WFCI. No financial terms were disclosed.

Deutsche Bank and Kirkland & Ellis advised WFCI and Greenbriar while Rothschild, Evercore, Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Ropes & Gray advised PAI Partners and BPEA.
WFCI exclusively markets and manages cargo freight capacity for more than 200 airline customers on more than 16,000 routes serving every major air cargo market globally, in particular the critical Asia-Europe corridor, to take advantage of growing e-commerce markets. WFCI manages more than €1.3 billion ($1.5 billion) of freight annually with over 1,100 employees in more than 200 offices worldwide.

The senior management teams of all the operating subsidiaries of WFCI will continue in their existing leadership roles.

WFCI CEO Vikram Singh, says: “WFCI has reinforced its market leadership position while growing its global network and capabilities dramatically under Greenbriar’s ownership. We are grateful for their support and strategic insight during this critical period of growth and success for the Company. We look forward to our partnership with PAI and BPEA. Their focus on fast-growing market leading global businesses is a perfect fit for WFCI’s strategy and future ambitions.”

Greenbriar managing partner Noah Roy says: “We are extremely proud of our partnership with the WFCI management team and the Company’s success during our ownership period. The vision and commitment of the entire WFCI team has firmly established WFCI as the global leader in the growing and dynamic GSSA sector.”

Closing of the transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.