CAE announced that it has concluded the previously announced acquisition of Sabre’s Airline Operations portfolio (formerly known as AirCentre solutions), a suite of flight and crew management and optimisation solutions, for an enterprise value of US$392.5 million. The acquisition includes the Sabre Airline Operations product portfolio, related technology and intellectual property as well as the transfer its workforce.
“We are very pleased to welcome Sabre’s Airline Operations customers and employees to CAE,” said Marc Parent, CAE’s president and CEO. “This acquisition, in addition to our ongoing technological transformation and our previous acquisitions of Merlot and RB Group, allows us to expand our reach into digitally-enabled flight and crew management and optimisation services and create additional value for our customers. CAE’s Flight Services solutions allow us to help airlines and business jet operators globally to better manage their operations, decrease costly scheduling disruptions, improve staffing and operational decision-making, and decrease fuel consumption and carbon emissions. This ecosystem also enables pilots and crew members to better manage their day-to-day activities, while supporting them throughout their training and career journeys. Our customers are increasingly adopting digital solutions to improve efficiency and operations, and we are thrilled about this opportunity to expand our suite of innovative civil flight services solutions.”
CAE has been carrying out a growth strategy with the intent to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic a larger, more resilient, and more profitable company than ever before. The acquisition, the ninth accretive acquisition for CAE since the COVID-19 pandemic began, will further expand CAE’s reach across its broad customer base beyond simulators and pilot training and establish the company as a technology leader in the growing marketplace for industry-leading, 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.
Over the past two years, CAE has been unifying its digital flight operations business with the goal of delivering a holistic suite of solutions designed to improve operations and unite airline, business jet operators and crew in a single, interconnected and growing digital ecosystem. With the addition of this suite of digital capabilities to the existing business, CAE will now engage with pilots at every point of their career life cycles, from training and flight preparation, planning and scheduling right through to in-flight route optimisation, performance and analytics. The acquisitions of Merlot and RB Group in December 2020 and April 2021 marked milestones in CAE’s journey to pioneer the development of a digital flight operations ecosystem. And in July 2021 CAE announced Project Resilience, a multi-year innovation program to develop the technologies of tomorrow, including digitally immersive solutions leveraging data and artificial intelligence in civil aviation.