3-Nov-2010 9:56 AM

Ferrovial to sell Swissport to PAI partners

Spain's Ferrovial announced (02-Nov-2010) plans to sell Swissport International to PAI partners for EUR654 million. The acquisition confirms PAI partners’ interest in the growing aviation sector. The sale will have no impact on Swissport’s clients or personnel, and the present management team will also remain unchanged. The closing of the transaction is expected in the course of Dec-2010 or beginning of 2011. Swissport expects to post encouraging results for FY2010; and current projections are also favourable for the first few months of 2011. The ground handling company reported a 6% year-on-year improvement in financial results for first nine months of 2010 and has substantially increased its market share at most of its country operations. 

Ferrovial acquired Swissport for EUR336 million in 2005 (Bloomberg, 02-Nov-2010). Ferrovial’s debt rose to EUR22.3 billion by Dec-2009 after the company acquired a number of businesses (Dow Jones, 02-Dec-2010). It has since reduced the debt to EUR20.5 billion at the end of Sep-2010 and plans to further remove more than EUR16 million in debt through accounting adjustments, once it completes planned sales of Swissport, a 10% stake in BAA and other sales. PAI partners is reportedly seeking EUR500 million in debt to fund the acquisition (Bloomberg, 02-Nov-2010). [more]

Ferrovial Services: “In the five years in which Swissport has been under our tenure, we have enhanced its operating and financial performance at all levels and raised its overall value. Despite this, however, we have elected to withdraw from this business segment, to further increase Ferrovial’s own liquidity and generate new funds for our other business priorities,” Santiago Olivares, CEO. Source: Ferrovial, 02-Nov-2010.

Swissport: “Our new ownership will not change our basic strategy of maintaining our global leadership, achieving profitable growth and remaining a quality leader,” Per Utnegaard, President & CEO. Source: Ferrovial, 02-Nov-2010.

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