Companies establish Sino-Foreign express air cargo joint venture

During the Fourth Annual China Air Finance Development Summit held here, Okay Airlines, ATSG West Limited, Vipshop and others totaling five parties announced the establishment of an express air cargo joint venture serving multiple destinations within the Peoples Republic of China (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) and surrounding countries.

The principal commercial partners in the venture include:

Okay Airlines, which was established in 2005 as China´s first private-sector airline and provides passenger and air cargo services within China from its operating bases at Tianjin Binhai International Airport and Changsha Huanghua International Airport.

ATSG West Limited, a subsidiary of Air Transport Services Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ATSG), a turn-key provider of mid-range Boeing freighter aircraft, along with leasing and operating solutions, which was founded in 1980 and is based in the United States.

Vipshop Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:VIPS), a leading online discount retailer for brands in China. Vipshop, founded in 2008, offers high quality and popular branded products to consumers throughout China at a significant discount to retail prices.
Okay Airlines President LIU Zonghui, ATSG CEO Joseph HETE, Vipshop Senior VP TANG Yizhi, Tianjin Dongjiang Investment company Chairman Mrs. MA Entong, and Bridgewater Developments Ltd. Chairman LANG Saiqiang will each sign the JV agreement, witnessed by guests and other parties.

The JV company will be named United Star Express Airlines Co. Ltd., registered in Tianjin´s free trade zone (Dongjiang Free Trade Port Zone), with registered capital of 400 million RMB (USD63 million). It will be established pending approval by related government parties and plans to commence flight operations in mid-2016.

Okay Airlines will provide the largest share of the registered capital of United Star Express. Okay Airlines Chairman WANG Shusheng will be the JV company´s chairman. The Vice Chairman will be Richard CORRADO, Chief Commercial Officer of Air Transport Services Group and President of its aircraft leasing subsidiary Cargo Aircraft Management, Inc.

Bluepeak Group was the financial consultant for this transaction.