Wheels Up eyes NYSE with enterprise value of $2.1 billion

Summary

  • Wheels Up has been eyeing to list on the New York Stock Exchange with the company notching an enterprise value of $2.1 billion.
  • Following the completion of an agreement with Aspirations Consumer Lifestyle Corp, Wheels Up is likely to have a cash up to $750 million on the balance sheet.

 

Wheels Up, the New York-headquartered private aviation firm, has been eyeing to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with the company notching an enterprise value of $2.1 billion after its merger with Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).  

Wheels Up has been offering services including on-demand private flights across all cabin categories, commercial travel benefits through Delta Air Lines alliance, aircraft management, and corporate solutions etc. More than 150,000 passengers have taken the services of Wheels Up in 2020 through over 1,500 aircrafts including third-party partner planes, company-managed and owned carriers.  

(Image source: ©Kalkine Group 2020)

NYSE debut 

Wheels Up, acting as an intermediary between the flyers and private aircraft, has entered into a definitive agreement with Aspirations Consumer Lifestyle Corp for the NYSE listing.  

Including the proportionate commitments from Fidelity, Durable Capital, Monashee, Third Point, Franklin Advisors, HG Vora Capital Management, Luxor Capital, and T. Rowe Price, the newly agreed integration is supported by a $550-million PIPE at $10 per share.  

Merger details 

As per the merger agreement, the transaction is likely to deliver gross proceeds to the tune of up to $790 million to the amalgamated unit, including a contribution of up to $240 million from the initial share sale of Aspirational Consumer. The existing shareholders of Wheels Up are set to roll 100 per cent of their equity into the new company.  

Following the successful completion of the said transaction, Wheels Up is likely to have a cash to the tune of $750 million on the balance sheet that can be utilised to fund the operations alongside supporting the existing and forthcoming business initiatives.  

Management 

The board of directors of Aspirational Consumer and the independent directors sitting on the board of Wheel Up have unanimously approved the transaction. The arrangement is likely to be finalised in H2 2021 after the approval from concerned regulators, the respective shareholders of Wheels Up and Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp, and other customary closing conditions.  

The present management team of Aspirational Consumer will be continuing to lead the Wheels Up including Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ravi Thakran, former Group Chairman of South and Southeast Asia arm of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy. Previously, Thakran has also served as the Managing Partner of L Catterton Asia.  

Wheels Up, founded by Kenny Dichter in 2013, has concluded a number of strategic acquisitions and associations in the last seven years including the exclusive co-marketing partnership with Delta Air Lines. Kenny Dichter, Founder & CEO of Wheels Up, said he is excited about the new partnership with Aspirational Consumer. The arrangement with Aspirational will support Wheels Up in actualising the founding objective of democratizing private aviation, Dichter added.  

Financial Advisors 

On the behalf of Aspirational Consumer, Connaught and Credit Suisse acted as financial advisors alongside placement agent and capital markets advisor, while Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as the legal advisor.  

The lead financial advisors to Wheels Up include Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Jefferies LLC, and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, whereas Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP worked as the legal advisor.  

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