Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) has announced it will acquire Omni Air International for USD845 million, subject to customary adjustments.

The Ohio-based aviation holding company said it plans to fund the acquisition of Omni Air International (OY, Tulsa Int'l) and its Omni Aviation Leasing and T7 Aviation Leasing units, using internal cash, current availability under its revolving credit facility and a new USD675 million five year, secured term loan. It did not assume any debt in connection with the purchase.

Omni Air specializes in ACMI/charter passenger charter operations and is a key beneficiary of the US Department of Defense's Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) program. Its fleet includes three B767-200(ER)s, seven B767-300(ER)s, and three B777-200(ER)s. The B767s (with the exception of one B767-200 and one -300) are owned by Omni Aviation Leasing while T7 oversees the B777s.

ATSG said in a statement the transaction will further its strategic goals by adding growth opportunities with long-time and blue-chip customers, and by positioning it to meet customers’ global cargo needs with the longer-range B777 platform. As such, the tie-up is expected to generate over USD430 million in additional annualized revenues for ATSG.

For its part, ATSG controls two cargo specialists - ABX Air (GB, Wilmington, OH) and ATI - Air Transport International (8C, Little Rock) - as well as lessor Cargo Aircraft Management, and MRO specialist Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services, Inc. including its aircraft modification subsidiary, Pemco World Air Services, Inc.

"Combining ATSG and Omni Air’s operating expertise and array of aircraft options fulfills several of our principal goals – to broaden ATSG’s ACMI capabilities; grow and diversify our revenue streams with government and commercial customers; and reach new global markets with our full range of leasing, operating, and aircraft maintenance capabilities. We look forward to working with Omni’s excellent management team to pursue new growth opportunities, including serving the expanding global e-commerce demand,” Joe Hete, President and Chief Executive Officer of ATSG, said.

Omni Air will operate as a separate subsidiary within ATSG under Jeff Crippen’s leadership from its existing Tulsa, Oklahoma, headquarters. An invitation has been extended to Rob Coretz, chairman, co-founder, and former CEO of Omni Air, to join ATSG’s board.

The agreement is expected to close by the end of the current quarter of the year, subject to regulatory approvals.