Swissport and Unitpool to work together and intensify their global cargo container management activities

Zürich, April 1, 2003 – Swissport is to acquire a majority shareholding in Unitpool, the container and palletising specialist. The move marks a further key step in Swissport's endeavours to become a one-stop provider of airport handling services.

Zürich-based Unitpool, which was established in April 2002, is one of the world's market leaders in the international cargo container business, a key element in any airline's ground services chain. Unitpool not only ensures the physical provision of the containers that carriers require for their air cargo needs; it is also responsible for their repair, and for organising their general availability all over the world. The company currently has ten international airlines on its customer books.

The collaboration marks a further milestone in Swissport's ongoing strategic endeavours to diversify and round off the range of its airport ground handling activities. It also closes a key gap in the value-adding chain of providing ground services for airline customers.

"I am delighted at our team-up with Swissport," says Unitpool Managing Director Philip Hill, "and I'm convinced that it offers tremendous potential for both partners. Swissport's global market presence should provide us with an even better distribution of our products and services."

Dr. Ludwig Bertsch, Executive Vice President Corporate Services at Swissport International, is equally enthusiastic: "We have long wanted to offer our global airlines an even more comprehensive range of ground handling services," he explains. "In joining forces with Unitpool, we're teaming up with a company whose technical expertise and professional approach have earned it an excellent image in the airline industry in a very short time. The operating synergies that should derive from the collaboration will benefit all our customers, and should further strengthen Swissport's leading position in the ground handling business."

Personnel changes within Division Europe

John Mc Donagh assumed new duties as Swissport International's Executive Vice President Europe (excluding Switzerland) on April 1. He succeeds Jean-Didier Savioz, who has led the division to sizeable business success over the past two years, and now assumes overall responsibility for Swissport France.

Swissport International Ltd., which is majority-owned by Candover Partners Ltd., a leading London-based European buyout specialist, handles some 60 million passengers and 2.5 million tonnes of cargo a year for over 600 customers at more than 150 airports in 29 countries. With a worldwide workforce of 18 000 personnel, Swissport is active on four continents and generated total operating revenue of CHF 1.1 billion in 2002.

www.swissport.com / www.unitpool.com