Wheels Up Partners said to be in talks with SPAC to go public

Wheels Up Partners LLC is in talks to go public through a merger with blank-check acquisition company Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp in a deal which could value the private jet charter company at more than $2 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle has engaged with potential investors to buy into a private investment in public equity, or PIPE, transaction to raise additional funding for the deal to invest in Wheels Up, the sources said.

The sources, who requested anonymity to discuss the transaction, cautioned that it is possible talks could still collapse. Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle and Wheels Up did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Wheels Up would be the latest company in the aviation sector to seek to merge with a SPAC in order to list its shares on the stock market.

Air taxi company Blade Urban Air Mobility agreed to merge last month with Experience Investment Corp. Reuters reported last week that electric passenger aircraft developer Joby Aero Inc is exploring a deal to go public through a SPAC merger.

SPACs emerged last year as one of the most popular investment vehicles on Wall Street.

New York-based Wheels Up was founded in 2013. The company offers a three-tier membership program with sign-on fees ranging from $2,995 to $29,500 that allows members to rent private planes. It also operates aircraft sales and management businesses.

The company was valued at $1.1 billion in its most recent private fundraising in 2019, and its investors include Delta Air Lines Inc and venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA).

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.