Ayala buys majority stake in Air21 Holdings
The Ayala group has signed a deal to acquire a 60-percent stake in Air21 Holdings Inc. (AHI), the logistics enterprise founded by businessman and former Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina, as part of the conglomerate’s plan to build a formidable end-to-end logistics backbone.
AHI controls eight operating companies under the AIR21 Group that are engaged in a broad range of logistics services, including express door-to-door service, international and domestic freight forwarding, warehousing and waste logistics management.
The acquisition will be made through AC Logistics Holdings Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Ayala Corp., which aspires to be a “world class” logistics player with digitally empowered end-to-end logistics capability similar to what is now available in other countries.
“The partnership with AHI gives AC Logistics an end-to-end logistics platform that is capable of serving the diverse supply chain requirements of high-growth industries and complements Ayala’s initial foray in logistics through Entrego. We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with the Lina family,” Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Ayala president and chief executive said in a press statement on Friday.
“Ayala’s businesses have proven leadership in their respective industries. The management expertise from the Ayala group combined with our extensive experience in logistics will be transformative not just for our group but for the industry as well,” said Lina, who is AHI chair.
To recall, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. had been in talks with Lina to acquire Air21 for years, but the group led by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan recently changed its tack. The group has given up its trucking and forwarding operations and likewise exited its unprofitable warehousing operations.
For Ayala, however, this investment will allow AC Logistics to participate and service the needs of growing and evolving industries and ecosystems.
“The decision to enter the logistics sector was a deliberate move on our part. We have been looking at the ecosystem in the past, carefully studying the opportunities where we can invest and make a difference. The supply chain disruptions and lockdowns we faced in 2020 strengthened our conviction in investing in the logistics sector, which we started back in 2017,” said Rene Almendras, president of AC Logistics.
The Lina companies that will be consolidated into AHI are: Airfreight 2100 Inc., Air 2100, Inc., U-Freight Phils. Inc., U-Ocean Inc., Cargohaus Inc., LGC Logistics Inc., Waste & Resources Management Inc. and Integrated Waste Management Inc. BPI Capital Corp. and Fortman Cline Capital Markets Ltd. acted as financial advisors for AC Logistics and A21 Group, respectively.
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