Swissport International gains PAI partners as a new shareholder and confirms its growth strategy

Zurich/Paris/Madrid, 2 November 2010 – Swissport International, the world’s leading provider of ground handling services to the airline sector, is to come under new ownership. PAI partners, the renowned Europe-based private equity group, is acquiring the company in full from its present owner Ferrovial. The acquisition confirms PAI partners’ interest in the growing aviation sector. The sale will have no impact on Swissport’s current clients or its personnel, and the present management team will also remain unchanged. The closing of the transaction is expected in the course of December.

PAI partners is one of Europe’s most reputed and experienced private equity companies, with operations in Paris, Copenhagen, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan and Munich. The company has its origins in a partnership between Paribas and BNP banks, but has long established itself as a leading independent private equity company.

Ferrovial sells Swissport to PAI partners for 654 million euro, around CHF 900 million.
Swissport is currently enjoying sizeable business success. Results for the first nine months of 2010 are an improvement of 6% on their prior-year equivalents; and the company has also substantially increased its market share at most of its country operations. Swissport expects to post encouraging results for the year as a whole; and current projections are also favourable for the first few months of 2011.

The Swissport Group has already achieved a number of highlights for 2010. These include:

. commencing operations at Lufthansa’s Munich hub
. concluding a long-term agreement with British Airways World Cargo
. the faultless handling in South Africa during the soccer World Cup
. procuring new special assistance licences for eight Spanish airports
. being named Best Ground Handling Company (for the tenth time)
. being named Cargo Handling Agent of the Year (for the second time)
. concluding a five-year handling agreement with SWISS for Switzerland and a six-year accord with Lufthansa for Munich.

Ferrovial is also pleased with the transaction. “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,” says Ferrovial Services CEO, Santiago Olivares. “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. We would like to take this opportunity, though, to thank the management and all the personnel at Swissport for the positive and successful collaboration we have enjoyed.”

Per H. Utnegaard, President & CEO of Swissport International, is confident that the new arrangements will ensure Swissport’s further growth and success: “Our new ownership will not change our basic strategy of maintaining our global leadership, achieving profitable growth and remaining a quality leader,” he explains. “In Ferrovial, we have enjoyed several years under a sound parent company; and with our new owners PAI partners, we are sure to be able to further accelerate the endeavours to achieve our growth objectives.”

Picture of the signing ceremony: From left to right:
Ricardo de Serdio Senior Partner at PAI partners,
Santiago Olivares CEO Ferrovial Services,
Per H. Utnegaard CEO Swissport International

Swissport International Ltd. provides ground services for over 70 million passengers and 2.8 million tonnes of cargo a year (the latter using 38 warehouses with a total floor area of 360 000 square metres) on behalf of some 650 client companies. With its workforce of around 33 000 personnel, Swissport is active at 177 airports in 38 countries on five continents, and generated consolidated operating revenue of CHF 1.7 billion (EUR 1.3 billion or USD 1.7 billion) last year. www.swissport.com