Friday, July 31, 2015

Airport Management and Logistics Group Buys Swiss Cargo Handling Outfit

Equity Firm Sells Up to Chinese Conglomerate
Shipping News Feature

SWITZERLAND – CHINA – WORLDWIDE – European private equity firm PAI Partners, has signed an agreement to sell ground handling and cargo services provider Swissport International, to Chinese conglomerate HNA Group for a total transaction value of CHF 2.7 billion. Upon closing of the transaction, which is subject to approval by Chinese authorities and is expected to occur by the end of the year, Swissport will remain as a stand-alone business within HNA Group, complementing HNA’s existing activities which include aviation, airport management, logistics and tourism.

During the period of PAI's investment, Swissport significantly increased its size to become a global platform as well as consolidated its strong leadership position in Western Europe and North America. Under HNA's ownership, Swissport says it aims to continue to expand its global footprint and continue to deliver highest quality and value added services to existing and future customers. Ricardo de Serdio, Partner at PAI Partners, commented:

"The acquisition by HNA of Swissport confirms the strategic value of the company as being the worldwide leader and consolidation platform in the still fragmented airport services market. As identified at the time of our investment, Swissport has proven to be able to successfully capitalise on the underlying market growth in the airport services industry and the consolidation opportunity.

“The acquisition by HNA will enable the company to grow in the underpenetrated Asian markets and in China in particular thanks to HNA's strong roots in the region. PAI has a long established track record of identifying European companies with international growth potential in its sectors of expertise, one of which being Business Services. We are delighted to have been a part of Swissport's successful development over the last four years."

Swissport serves around 224 million passengers and handles 4.1 million tonnes of cargo a year on behalf of some 700 client-companies. With a workforce of around 60,000 personnel, Swissport is active at more than 270 stations in 48 countries across five continents, and generates consolidated operating revenue of CHF 3 billion.

Last week, HNA announced that it had made it onto the Fortune Global US$25.6 billion. Through progress and reform, HNA has grown from a local air freight enterprise into a conglomerate with core businesses spanning across aviation, holdings, finance, tourism and logistics.