Texas-headquartered mission management provider Universal Weather and Aviation has signed a definitive agreement to sell its UVair fuelling division to World Fuel Services. The total purchase price of approximately $170 million, a portion of which is payable over three years, will be funded through cash-on-hand and liquidity available through the company's existing unsecured credit facility.
“We didn’t achieve our 60 year track record of success and remain the industry leader in international mission support by standing pat and being satisfied with the status quo,” says Universal chairman Greg Evans. “We’ve always been nimble, and not afraid to make bold decisions that will allow us to adapt to changing markets and better develop solutions to our customers’ future challenges.”
Until the official close, there will be no changes in how Universal and the UVair fuelling programme conducts business. Upon the official closing of the sale, as part of this agreement, Universal will continue to service its trip support customers as it always has, and World Fuel Services will become the exclusive fuel provider for all missions through Universal.
“We are excited to announce this strategic acquisition, which will further enhance our global business and general aviation fuel platform,” says WFS chairman and chief executive officer Michael J Kasbar. “We look forward to welcoming UVair's fuel customers and providing them and Universal's international trip planning customers with access to our best-in-class global fuel supply network.”
“This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to leveraging our strong balance sheet and solid liquidity profile to drive incremental growth through strategic and synergistic acquisitions in our core businesses,” adds WFS executive vice president and chief financial officer Ira M Birns.
“Universal has the industry’s most comprehensive end-to-end mission management infrastructure, integrating more phases of the mission, and supporting more global trip legs, than anyone else,” says Evans. “World Fuel Services has built an unparalleled, global fuel supply network. With this new agreement, our customers will continue to benefit from having Universal seamlessly manage their trips, while at the same time enjoying the advantages of World Fuel’s global fuel supply network to better support their evolving needs.”
Moving forward, Universal is committed to investing in growth areas of the company. “We will continue to invest in our digital platforms, integrating the high-tech with the high-touch that our customers want now and in the future,” he continues. “We will also continue to expand our global footprint, grow our global concierge network, invest in and add new catering locations as Air Culinaire Worldwide continues to thrive, and build on our recently announced joint venture with Drivania to provide our customers with a truly global transportation solution.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.