Logistics firm plans to raise P5B via IPO
The AAI Group of Companies, an integrated logistics provider, is stepping out from behind the scenes with plans to raise as much as P5 billion via an initial public offering by 2020 and take in a key strategic partner this year.
Officials of AAI Group, established in 1979 as Airlift Asia Inc., sat down with reporters late Thursday to discuss a fresh expansion initiative—led by its newly established “last mile” logistics unit Black Arrow Express—and plans to grow revenue about six times to P12 billion by the time it goes public.
“What we are doing is catch-up,” said Rico Brizuela, chair of AAI Worldwide Logistics.
AAI Group wants to accelerate its expansion in an area that has recently lured the interest of conglomerates like SM Investments Corp., Ayala Corp., and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.
Brizuela said this new expansion drive would be partly triggered by the entry of a new strategic partner within the year.
He said talks were ongoing with at least two groups, which he declined to name.
He noted that AAI Group wanted a partner that would provide both fresh capital and business opportunities for them.
AAI Group is willing to give up a “significant minority stake,” he added.
AAI Group, which deals mainly with business customers, wants to expand its presence in the retail market, just as other providers like LBC Express Holdings had done with great success.
‘Three-million delivery mark’
For this, the company is banking on its newest and fastest-growing unit, Black Arrow, which was established last year.
The company is targeting to hit the three-million delivery mark by the end of the year. Black Arrow focused early-on in the e-commerce space—an area expected to usher in a new wave of growth as internet penetration widens across the Philippines.
Black Arrow vice president John Baybay said about 97 percent of Black Arrow’s volume comes from e-commerce.
Its clients include Shopee, ABS-CBN TV Plus, and Bench.
“By the end of the year we would have close to 1,500 couriers across 50 hubs across the country on a mixed fleet of trucks and motorcycles,” Baybay said.
Third party logistics
AAI Group’s flagship unit is AAI Worldwide, which handles third party logistics services mainly catering to corporate clients.
This spans air, sea, land cargo handling and movement; freight forwarding; warehousing and distribution.
Another unit—and growth opportunity—is via AAI+Peers.
This unit deals with moving heavy-duty equipment like specialty rigging and cranes. Today, the group handles the movement of goods from five grams to 5,000 tons.
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