Swissport is to sell Unitpool to ASH

Aviation Services Holding (ASH) has taken over majority shareholding but Swissport and Unitpool continue their close collaboration.

Zurich, October 25th, 2007 – Swissport International, the world's leading provider of ground handling services to the aviation sector, is to sell a majority shareholding in its ULD management subsidiary Unitpool Ltd. to Aviation Services Holding (ASH) effective October 24. Unitpool will continue to develop and tap into new markets in the international air transport sector under the leadership of Dr. Ludwig Bertsch (of ASH) as Chairman and David Harman who remains as CEO. The change of ownership will have no impact on Unitpool's collaborations with its existing customers.

Unitpool, which currently manages some 21 000 ULD containers for 26 airlines at over 270 stations around the world, was acquired by Swissport in 2003 to supplement its ramp and cargo services and offer customer carriers a complete ground services package. Swissport will remain a minority Unitpool shareholder, and will continue to develop its collaboration with the company to offer customer-friendly solutions in this rapidly-growing service segment; but for strategic reasons, Swissport now wishes to give its subsidiary more independence and greater business scope.

In ASH, Unitpool is gaining as its new owners a highly professional and experienced group of investors who practise a strongly customer-focused and quality-minded business approach. With Dr. Ludwig Bertsch, ASH brings to Unitpool a proven industry specialist who, having served as CEO of SwissCargo and Executive Vice President Global Cargo at Swissport, is fully familiar with the logistics business from both a strategic and an operational perspective.

"I could not be more pleased with the outcome," says Unitpool CEO David Harman. "We're looking forward to this new era for Unitpool. I am convinced that with the new owners behind us and our skilled and motivated team, Unitpool will continue to grow and we will fulfil our goal to become the world class provider of innovative ULD solutions."

Swissport is pleased with the new arrangement, too. "We are heartened to know that Unitpool will be in such safe and expert hands," says Urs Sieber, Executive Vice President Ground Handling Europe, Asia, Middle East & Africa at Swissport International. "New owners ASH should ensure not only the smoothest of transitions but also – and above all – a promising and forward-looking solution for all the parties involved."

Swissport International Ltd., which is owned by Ferrovial, a leading European infrastructure and service corporation based in Spain, provides ground services for over 70 million passengers and 3.2 million tonnes of cargo a year on behalf of some 650 client companies. With its workforce of around 23 000 personnel, Swissport is active at 184 airports in 43 countries on five continents, and generated consolidated operating revenue of CHF 1 712 million (EUR 1 070 million or USD 1 370 million) last year. /

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ZETRA International Ltd. acted as sole M&A advisor to Swissport Ltd. in the sale of Unitpool.