Canadian Manufacturing

CAE to acquire Sabre’s AirCentre airline operations portfolio

The agreement, which is valued at US$ 392.5 million excluding post-closing adjustments, includes the Sabre AirCentre product portfolio, related technology, IP as well as the transfer of AirCentre's workforce.

October 28, 2021  by CM Staff

MONTREAL and SOUTHLAKE — CAE and Sabre Corporation announced on Oct. 28, that an agreement for CAE to acquire Sabre’s AirCentre airline operations portfolio (AirCentre) – a suite of flight and crew management and optimization solutions has taken place. The agreement, which is valued at US$ 392.5 million excluding post-closing adjustments, includes the Sabre AirCentre product portfolio, related technology and intellectual property as well as the transfer of AirCentre’s workforce. AirCentre generated approximately US$150 million revenue in the 2019 calendar year (pre-pandemic), and approximately US$55 million EBITDA for the same period. The closing of the transaction is expected in the first quarter of calendar 2022 and is subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals.

The acquisition will expand CAE’s reach across its customer base beyond pilot training and establish the company as a technology company in the growing marketplace for digitally-enabled flight and crew operations solutions. CAE expects that the transaction will be mid-single-digit percentage EPS accretive, and even higher free cash flow accretive, for CAE within the first year post-closing.

“Sabre’s AirCentre business is highly valued by many of the world’s leading airlines, nearly all of whom are customers of CAE today. This acquisition will significantly expand CAE’s capabilities across a large airline customer base and allows us to deliver on our objective to help our civil aviation customers operate their businesses with the highest levels of efficiency and precision,” said Marc Parent, CAE’s President and CEO. “We are committed to investing and innovating in digital flight and crew operations, an expansion area for our business. The acquisition will also enhance CAE’s capability set with the addition of 500 talented employees, the majority of which are personnel with software development and digital expertise.”

Through this transaction and other strategic changes executed over the past year, Sabre hopes to be better positioned for incremental revenue opportunities going forward.

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“This divestiture is an important strategic move that will allow us to focus on our forward-looking plans and on accelerating our growth as we continue to transform our business and build on our strong momentum over the past three years,” said Sean Menke, Sabre President and CEO.

Over the past three years, CAE has been steadily unifying the digital flight operations ecosystem with the goal of delivering a suite of solutions designed to improve operations and enhance the flight and crew experience.