Wheels Up Raises More Than USD 200 Million Of Capital To Fuel Continued Growth And Expansion
NEW YORK, Oct. 6, 2017 : Wheels Up, the revolutionary membership-based private aviation company, announced today it has completed an equity capital raise of USD 117.5 million.Fidelity Management & Research Company and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. led the round and were joined by existing investor, NEA as well as new institutional investors. The Company initially set out to raise $100 million but agreed to upsize the offering based on significant investor demand. The equity raise comes on the heels of a $90 million aircraft financing facility with KKR completed in June of this year.
Following completion of the capital raise, the Company's equity is now valued at close to $700 million, with an enterprise value north of $1 billion.
According to Wheels Up Founder and CEO Kenny Dichter, this latest round of financing will fund a number of growth initiatives, including adding to the Wheels Up exclusive fleet of Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft; accelerating membership growth through further investment in sales and marketing; continued exploration of and planning for an expansion into Western Europe and other markets; and significant enhancement of the Company's digital platform. Wheels Up is also looking at adding Citation X aircraft to its private fleet of King Air 350i and Citation Excel/XLS, starting as soon as the first quarter of 2018.
"The follow-on investments from Fidelity Management & Research Company, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price and NEA and the addition of KKR and others to our institutional backers, validates all that Wheels Up has achieved in the four short years since our launch," Mr. Dichter said. "We share a common vision with our investors that Wheels Up can build on its market-leading position and further disrupt the space through enhanced digital offerings."
Wheels Up was represented by Jefferies, UBS Investment Bank and BTIG, as placement agents for the equity private placement. Jefferies acted as sole placement agent for the $90 million credit facility with KKR.