Airlines

Apollo-backed low-cost airline Sun Country files for U.S. IPO

Key Points
  • Sun Country Airlines, an ultra low-cost air carrier backed by private-equity giant Apollo Global Management Inc, filed for an initial public offering on Monday, banking on a rebound in air travel as countries roll out vaccines against Covid-19.
  • Minnesota-based Sun Country, which offers affordable flights and vacation packages to destinations across the United States and in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, said it would list its stock on the Nasdaq under they symbol "SNCY."
Sun Country Airlines Boeing 737 takes off from Los Angeles International Airport on August 27, 2020.
AaronP/Bauer-Griffin | GC Images | Getty Images

Sun Country Airlines, an ultra low-cost air carrier backed by private-equity giant Apollo Global Management Inc, filed for an initial public offering on Monday, banking on a rebound in air travel as countries roll out vaccines against Covid-19.

Minnesota-based Sun Country, which offers affordable flights and vacation packages to destinations across the United States and in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, said it would list its stock on the Nasdaq under they symbol "SNCY."

Founded in 1982 by Jim Olsen and a small group of pilots and flight attendants, Sun Country began flight operations in 1983 with a single Boeing 727-200 aircraft.

The airline, which has been bought and sold a few times over the years, was forced to declare bankruptcy after the Sept. 11 2001, attacks on the United States and was hurt again by the recession of 2008 and the revelation of financial fraud.

The airline, a contract cargo operator for Amazon Air, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in 2008. The company was eventually bought by Apollo in 2017.

Sun Country's IPO comes as U.S. capital markets are poised for another banner year, with January's IPO haul totaling $33.9 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

The company reported operating revenue of $293.7 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2020, from $537.5 million a year earlier.

"With the expectation that recently authorized COVID-19 vaccines will be widely distributed in 2021, we believe the airline industry will rebound in the back half of 2021 and normalize in 2022," the company said in its filing.

Barclays, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank Securities, Goldman Sachs and Nomura are among underwriters for Sun Country's offering.