Air-freight deal

OCEAN GROUP, the transport and logistics company, yesterday confirmed it was buying Texas-based Skyking Freight Systems to expand its air-freight forwarding operations. Ocean said that under the terms of the acquisition there would be an initial cash payment of $8m, a further cash payment of $16.6m after 12 months and an earn-out arrangement based on Skyking's profits over the next five years which was presently expected to be $10m but was subject to a maximum of $60m.

Skyking has 14 regional offices in the US, a client base of 6,000 and reported underlying unaudited operating profits of $2.5m in 1997 on sales of $38m, with a net asset value of $1.75m.

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