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Sun Country to be sold to private equity firm

Minnesota-based Sun Country Airlines will be sold to funds affiliated with private equity firm Apollo Global Management.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, says New York-based Apollo, which is purchasing the airline from the Davis family. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sun Country chief executive Jude Bricker, who joined the airline earlier this year after a decade with Allegiant Air, will continue to lead Sun Country.

"We are tremendously excited about the acquisition of Sun Country," says Antoine Munfakh, partner at Apollo. "We look forward to supporting CEO Jude Bricker in delivering the next chapter of Sun Country’s growth through the combination of operational excellence and the relentless pursuit of delivering customer service and value."

Eagan, Minnesota-based Sun Country embarked on a cost overhaul after Bricker became chief executive. It plans to begin charging for carry-on bags in January and has revamped its fare structure. Bricker previously said the airline plans to reduce its first class cabin on board and add more seats to economy class.

The all-Boeing 737 operator flies to leisure destinations from its base at Minneapolis-St Paul. Bricker has indicated that the airline will focus network growth on popular leisure routes, such as those to Florida.

"We are particularly pleased to sell Sun Country to Apollo because it has a proven track record for successfully helping companies grow and generate long-term value," says Sun Country chairman Marty Davis. "With Jude at the helm, along with the dedicated employees who make Sun Country what it is today, we are confident the company is well-positioned for continued expansion and its evolution beyond its Minnesota base."

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