Vista Global in SPAC IPO talks, according to Bloomberg

By Doug Gollan, June 9, 2021

Bloomberg is reporting that VistaJet, XO Global owner Dubai-based Vista Global Holding is in talks to go public via a SPAC that could value the private aviation company at more than $10 billion

Hours after, KKR said it would put $150 million behind Jet Edge to target NetJets, and as Wheels Up finalizes its SPAC merger with Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle, there is another potential M&A in the private aviation sector. Bloomberg reports Dubai-based Vista Global Holding may go public via a special purpose acquisition company.

The report says Vista Global could be valued at more than $10 billion, including debt. The report quotes “people familiar with the matter.”

Vista Global is the holding company for VistaJet, XO Global, Apollo Jets, and stakes in U.S. Part 135 operators Red Wing Aviation, Talon Air, and XOJET Aviation.

Bloomberg adds Vista Global projects 2021 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of about $450 million. The dual byline report by Gillian Tan and Aaron Kirchfeld said they had not been able to identify Vista’s SPAC partner. Tan is a senior reporter based in New York and Kirchfield is an executive editor covering global deals from London, according to LinkedIn.

Vista Global M&A History

  • Vista Global buys on-demand charter broker Apollo Jets and an undisclosed interest in #14 charter operator and management company Talon Air
  • XOJET Aviation acquires 15 Citation Ultras and a “majority controlling” stake of #19 largest charter operator Red Wing Aviation (Nov. 2019)
  • Merges XOJET and JetSmarter brokerages to form XO (June 2019)
  • Refinances $550 million of senior unsecured bonds (May 2019)
  • Buys tech-led seat-sharing broker JetSmarter (April 2019)
  • Buys #3 operator XOJET Aviation fleet and commercial operations; becomes minority owner in Part 135 operator (Sept. 2018)
  • Raises $200 million from Rhone Capital, forms Dubai-based Vista Global Holding (Sept. 2018)
  • Raises $150 million from Rhone Captial (Aug. 2017)

Vista Global’s Moody’s Ratings

In April, Moody’s confirmed the ratings of Vista Global Holding Ltd. and VistaJet Malta Finance P.L.C. The outlook on both entities was changed to stable from ratings under review. This rating action concluded a review for a downgrade that began in January.

At the time, Moody’s commented, “Today’s rating action reflects Moody’s expectation that the recovery in business aviation flight activity will continue, enabling Vista Global to achieve: (1) a reduction of leverage below 7x debt/EBITDA by year-end 2021, (2) EBITA margin improving to double digit in percentage terms in the next 12-15 months, (3) the generation of sufficient free cash flow to meet the scheduled amortization of its aircraft financings. The decision is supported by Vista Global’s successful issuance of a $150 million tap to the existing $550 million senior unsecured notes due in 2024 (issued by VistaJet Malta Finance P.L.C. and co-issued by XO Management Holding Inc.) with the intention to use the proceeds to repay the equivalent of aircraft financing debt reducing the amount of aircraft financing debt in Vista Global’s capital structure and thereby extend its maturity profile and strengthen its capital structure.”

It noted, “As of 30 September 2020, the company had $111 million cash on its balance sheet while having fully drawn under its $51 million revolving credit facility, which we do not expect to be repaid during 2021. In our base scenario, we expect the company to be compliant with the springing financial covenant of 6.8x senior net leverage.”

In April it announced its VistaJet unit would go carbon neutral by 2025.

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