Monday, October 10, 2011

US Air Freight Carrier Refinances Expansion

$55 Million Investment in Southern Air
Shipping News Feature

US – Southern Air Holdings Incorporated, the specialist ACMI global air freight cargo carrier, announced on Friday it had received a further $55 million cash injection from Oak Hill Capital Partners, which has been the company’s majority investor since 2007. The money will be used to support the completion of Southern Air’s fleet renewal and the company’s continued growth. Concurrent with this new investment, Southern Air has renegotiated its credit agreements, including extending its long-term debt maturities to 2015.

Southern Air, founded in 1947, specializes in the provision of block space and aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance (ACMI) services and has a customer base which includes some of the world’s largest combination cargo carriers and government agencies. Southern Air currently operates a fleet of 11 Boeing 747-200's and the company is the first ACMI operator in the world to operate the new Boeing 777 Freighter, currently operating two such aircraft, with an additional two slated for delivery in early 2012.

Recently, after significant additions to its management team, Southern Air has continued to expand its global reach, including opening an office in Germany and signing several new client contracts including DHL Express, Saudi Arabia Airlines and Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency. The company has also recently increased its entitlement for U.S. military flying. Daniel J. McHugh, Chief Executive Officer of Southern Air, said:

“My colleagues and I are proud of the additional vote of confidence we have received from Oak Hill Capital. We are fortunate to have an owner with exceptional industry experience and a long-term perspective on our business. This new capital will give us the financial strength and flexibility necessary to achieve our strategic objectives, including expanding our fleet of 777Fs and 747-400s for the benefit of our clients.”

Denis J. Nayden, a Managing Partner of Oak Hill Capital, added:

“We are very pleased to provide Southern Air with additional capital to support the ongoing transformation of the company. Southern Air's new management team has done a great job of upgrading the company’s fleet and establishing relationships with some of the world’s outstanding cargo carriers. We are excited to collaborate with Dan McHugh and his team as they work to realize the company’s full potential.”