Alpine Air Express, Inc., one of the largest regional on demand air cargo providers in the United States, completed the sale and transfer of a controlling interest to KEB Enterprises on May 7, 2014.
Alpine Air Express has been providing regional air cargo charter flights for almost 40 years. After acquiring the company in 1986 and guiding a turnaround strategy that led to continued growth, CEO Gene Mallette sold his stake in the company to an entity controlled by KEB Enterprises, which is owned by Kenneth E. Brailsford. Mallette sold his Alpine Air Express common shares at a price of $0.9663 per share, which price may be adjusted later under the stock purchase agreement governing the sale of his interest. Mr. Mallette was the largest shareholder of the Company owning over 80% of the Company’s common stock.
“I am truly excited about the continuity and transfer of ownership for all of our employees and clients,” Mallette said. “We have created an excellent safety, and on-time culture within our employees; I know Alpine Air will continue to grow and build upon that hard-won legacy.”
Brailsford will be the new President and CEO of Alpine Air with Bill Distefano remaining as the General Manager and Michael Dancy taking over business development.
With a fleet of 25 aircraft, Alpine Air Express currently provides on demand, non-scheduled air cargo flights to 16 cities in 6 states for a diverse client base that includes the United States Postal Service and other major international transportation and logistics companies.
“Alpine Air Express is an exciting company that’s been well managed since its inception and we’re excited about the future,” Brailsford said about the recent acquisition.
The company’s headquarters and maintenance facility are located in Provo, Utah with operations based in Billings, Montana.
Under the new ownership, Alpine Air’s commitment to being a leader in the regional air cargo industry will remain as it continues to focus on providing excellent customer service, adapting efficiently to change, enhancing safety programs and offering rewarding career opportunities to its employees.
“I am so grateful to have worked at Alpine Air for the past 35 years,” Mallette said. “I am proud to be part of building a small fixed-base operation into one of the largest regional all-cargo airlines in America. But the most gratifying and rewarding part of this experience has been the friendships and relationships that have been built with the people I got to work with!”
The purchaser of Mr. Mallette’s interest and Alpine Air Express also plan on completing a merger in the coming weeks based on a merger agreement signed by the two companies also on May 7, 2014. As part of the agreement, Alpine Air Express will merge into the purchasing entity, which will be the surviving company.
When the merger is completed, the remaining shareholders of Alpine Air Express will receive a cash amount of $0.9728 per share. Additionally, all stock option holders in Alpine Air Express may receive the same value for their options less the option exercise price either by exercising them or receiving a payment for terminating their options. The cash amount to the remaining shareholders will represent an approximately 412% premium on Alpine Air Express’s common stock closing price on May 7, 2014, which was $0.19 per share. More information about the merger will be provided in the coming days. The Company received a fairness opinion on the consideration being paid to the remaining shareholders.