Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corporation

Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corporation

Oct 19, 2020 by Roman Developer


ENTERPRISE VALUE: $2.091 billion

Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corporation proposes to combine with Wheels Up, a leading provider of private aviation services in the U.S. through a fleet of owned, managed, and third-party planes.

  • Wheels Up was founded in 2013 by renowned entrepreneur Kenny Dichter. With Wheels Up, Dichter has pioneered the next evolution of private aviation, starting with an industry-first membership model and an exclusive fleet of King Air 350i aircraft. In the seven years since it was founded, Wheels Up has quickly become a trusted market leader and iconic brand. Several strategic acquisitions and an exclusive co-marketing partnership with Delta Air Lines have expanded Wheels Up’s operational and technological footprint, creating the evolutionary marketplace to transform private aviation and deliver world-class experiences to consumers.
  • Today, Wheels Up is one of the largest private aviation platforms in the world, offering a comprehensive total aviation solution including membership programs, on-demand private flights across all cabin categories, aircraft management, whole aircraft sales, corporate solutions, signature events, and commercial travel benefits through its strategic partnership with Delta Air Lines. In 2020, the Company had flown more than 150,000 passengers, utilizing its access to over 1,500 owned, managed, and third-party partner aircraft.
  • Wheels Up has pioneered a suite of intelligent, technology-driven solutions to make it easier than ever before to choose a safe, high-quality aircraft option that caters to a range of financial and travel needs. The Wheels Up app is removing the friction from private aviation. Flyers can view real-time inventory and purchase dynamically priced flights, making it possible to instantaneously search, book, and fly privately. The marketplace technology powering the Wheels Up platform is wholly proprietary and includes the leading flight management system, Avianis, that is powering many operators across the country and revolutionizing the industry.

Upon closing of the transaction, Wheels Up will be the first private aviation platform to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: UP).


  • The transaction values Wheels Up at an enterprise value of approximately $2.1 billion.
  • The transaction is expected to deliver up to $790 million of gross proceeds to the combined company, including the contribution of up to $240 million of cash held in Aspirational’s trust account from its initial public offering in September 2020.
  • The combination is further supported by a $550 million PIPE at $10.00 per share, including commitments from T. Rowe Price, Fidelity, Franklin Advisors, Durable Capital, HG Vora Capital Management, Third Point, Luxor Capital, and Monashee, among others.
  • Existing Wheels Up shareholders will roll 100 percent of their equity into the new company. Upon completion of the transaction, Wheels Up expects to have up to $750 million in cash on its balance sheet to fund operations and support new and existing business initiatives.



  • 55,000,000 shares of ASPL Class A Common Stock for an aggregate purchase price equal to $550,000,000
  • Includes commitments from T. Rowe Price, Fidelity, Franklin Advisors, Durable Capital, HG Vora Capital Management, Third Point, Luxor Capital, and Monashee, among others.


  • Existing Wheels Up equityholders will have the right to receive up to an aggregate of 9,000,000 additional shares of ASPL Class A Common Stock in three equal tranches which are issuable upon the achievement of share price thresholds for ASPL Class A Common Stock of $12.50, $15.00 and $17.50, respectively.


  • The trust amount is at least equal to or greater than $120,000,000
  • That ASPL will have received a PIPE Investment of at least $360,000,000


  • If the Closing has not occurred on or before the date that is 180 days after the date of the Merger Agreement.


  • Connaught acted as financial advisor to Aspirational.
  • Credit Suisse acted as financial advisor, placement agent and capital markets advisor to Aspirational.
  • Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acted as legal advisor to Aspirational.
  • Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Jefferies LLC, and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC acted as joint lead financial advisors to Wheels Up.
  • Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP acted as legal advisor to Wheels Up.


Executive Officers

Ravi Thakran, 57
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Thakran currently serves as the Group Chairman of LVMH South and South East Asia and Australia/New Zealand, representing a portfolio of over 75 brands across multiple categories including wine and spirits, fashion and leather goods, perfumes and cosmetics, and watches and jewelry. He also serves as Chairman?—?Emeritus of L Catterton Asia. He founded L Capital Asia in 2009, the Asian private equity venture of LVMH. L Capital (including L Capital Asia) merged with Catterton in 2016 to form L Catterton. Mr. Thakran serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of R.M. Williams, an Australian luxury footwear and apparel brand. Mr. Thakran also served as a director on numerous public company boards, including SECOO China (Nasdaq: SECO), Future Lifestyle Fashions (NSE: FLFL), Mulsanne Group (HKSE: 1817), PVR Cinemas Ltd (NSE: PVR) and Clio Cosmetics Co Ltd (KOSDAQ: 237880). Mr. Thakran also currently serves as a director on numerous private company boards, including Arcadia s.r.l. (owner of Dondup brand) and CE LA VI. Prior to joining LVMH, Mr. Thakran held senior management positions at the Swatch Group, Nike and Tata Group, based in various global locations. Mr. Thakran holds an MBA from the India Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Lisa Myers, 52

Ms. Myers is the co-founder and managing partner of Clerisy, a new global private equity firm in the consumer and consumer-technology space. Until recently, Ms. Myers was a partner at L Catterton, where she focused on L Catterton Flagship Buyout Fund. Prior to joining L Catterton, Ms. Myers spent 19 years with Franklin Templeton where she was an Executive Vice-president in Templeton’s Global Equity Group which managed more than $100 billion in assets. Ms. Myers managed some of Templeton’s flagship global equity funds and institutional separate managed accounts, and served as the coordinator of Templeton’s global consumer research with direct research responsibility for the global retail, textile and apparel, and luxury goods sectors. In 2015, Ms. Myers joined BTG Pactual as Co-Head of Global Partnership Investing, an investment strategy specializing in purchasing minority stakes in privately-held and publicly-traded companies to provide transformative capital and work with company managements to drive value-enhancing change. Before entering the investment management industry, Ms. Myers practiced law with Willkie, Farr & Gallagher in New York City, where she specialized in corporate/real estate law and was involved in initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and loan initiation and restructuring, among other securities-related transactions. Ms. Myers has served on the Board of Directors of Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, a U.S. REIT, and currently serves on several private company boards. Ms. Myers also served on the Board of Directors of Women’s World Banking, a global organization which provides micro-finance to women in emerging markets. Ms. Myers earned her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and her J.D. from Georgetown University. Ms. Myers is a CFA charter holder and a member of the CFA Institute.


Board of Directors

Mark Bedingham, 65
Vice Chairman

Mr. Bedingham has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Myanmar Investco Limited, an investment and management company focused on the high-growth emerging economy of Myanmar, since 2015. Mr. Bedingham has more than 30 years of experience leading the global expansion of premium brands in international markets, including his tenure as Regional Managing Director of APAC (Asia Pacific) at Moët Hennessey. Mr. Bedingham also led the formation of multiple joint ventures in Asia including Chandon China and Wenjun Distillery in China and the founding of Dindori winery in India. Mr. Bedingham is currently an Executive Chairman of each of CE LA VI and Crystal Jade, two major hospitality companies owned by L Catterton. He served on the Board of Directors of DFS Group, one of the world’s largest travel retailers, from 2007 to 2014 and has served as a member on the Japanese Prime Minister’s Administrative Reform Council and European Business Council in Japan. Mr. Bedingham holds a Master’s degree in Agricultural and Forest Sciences from the School of Biological Sciences of Oxford University.

Neil Jacobs, 68

Mr. Jacobs has been the Chief Executive Officer of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas (“Six Senses”), a luxury hotel, resort and spa operator, since 2012. Prior to joining Six Senses, Mr. Jacobs spent five years at Starwood Capital Group as President of Global Hotel Operations where he was responsible for the development of two innovative new brands, Baccarat Hotels and 1 Hotels, both debuting in 2014. Mr. Jacobs spent 14 years with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Asia, 5 of which as Senior Vice President Operations for Asia Pacific beginning in 2003. Based in Singapore, he was responsible for the operation of 16 existing hotels throughout the Asia Pacific region with multiple additional properties under development in the region. He also looked after the spa and wellness function for Four Seasons globally. His career prior to Four Seasons included key leadership roles in Europe and the America’s both in hospitality operations in development on the sponsorship side of the table. He began his hospitality career in Food & Beverage with Trusthouse Forte in Europe and his spirit of adventure has taken him to postings around the world including London, Rome, Sardinia, Paris, Sri Lanka, Bali, Barbados and Los Angeles. Mr. Jacobs attended Westminster Hotel School in London, studied French Civilization at La Sorbonne in Paris and Italian language and culture in Florence. He speaks 5 languages.

Frank Newman, 78

Mr. Newman has been the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of PathGuard, Inc. (or its predecessors), a company offering hardware-based cybersecurity, since 2015. Mr. Newman also serves on the Board of Directors of Steiner Leisure Limited, a worldwide provider of spa services. From 2011 until December 2018, Mr. Newman served as Chairman of Promontory Financial Group China Ltd., an advisory group for financial institutions and corporations in China. From 2005 to 2010, he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Shenzhen Development Bank, a national bank in China. Prior to 2005, Mr. Newman served as Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Bankers Trust and Chief Financial Officer of Bank of America and Wells Fargo Bank. Mr. Newman served as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury from 1994 to 1995 and as Under Secretary of Domestic Finance from 1993 to 1994. He has authored two books and several articles on economic matters, published in the U.S., mainland China, and Hong Kong. Mr. Newman has served as a director for major public companies in the U.S., United Kingdom, and China, and as a member of the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Hall, and is currently on the Board of Directors of ParkerVision, Inc. He earned his BA, magna cum laude in economics, at Harvard.

Leo Austin, 47

Mr. Austin has served as a Senior Advisor at The China Center for Economics & Business, The Conference Board, a business think-tank, since January 2018. Mr. Austin has spent 22 years in mainland China where he completed 12 major China investment and restructuring transactions. During his time in China, Mr. Austin has worked on acquiring most of the breweries in West China for Carlsberg and the development of two of China’s vineyards, Moët Hennessy’s Ningxia Chandon and Yunnan’s Ao Yun. From 2014 to 17, Mr. Austin was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Jinliufu, China’s leading mainstream spirits brand. He was also Vice President of the holding company Vats, China’s largest non-state wine and spirits group, where he restructured the wine business, negotiated a JV with Constellation Brands and managed distilleries across China. Prior to Vats, Mr. Austin spent 13 years as a Partner with Augus Partners Inc, a Beijing-based corporate advisory boutique, where he advised multinationals including LVMH and Carlsberg as well as domestic Chinese groups such as Goldwind. From 2000 to 2001, Mr. Austin was a Principal with Incubasia Inc, a Hong Kong-based technology venture capital fund. He began his China career in 1996 as a product and sales manager with Bass Brewers at their Jilin joint-venture. Before coming to China, Mr. Austin was an Associate Consultant with LEK Consulting in London. He previously served on the Board of Directors for eLong Inc, Rockley Cayman Ltd and the China Ming Yang Wind Power Group. Mr Austin holds a B.A. and M.A. from Brasenose College, Oxford University.