Change of co-owner and of CEO at Swissport Greece

Swissport International, the world’s leading aviation ground services group, has a new partner for its Greek-based Swissport Hellas subsidiary.

Zurich/Athens, July 12, 2005 – Swissport International, the world’s leading aviation ground services group, has a new partner for its Greek-based Swissport Hellas subsidiary. Lamda Development S.A., which held a 50% equity stake in the company, has disposed of its shares to Greek investor Ioannis Grylos, with whom Swissport already has a franchising agreement on the islands of Crete, Rhodes and Corfu. The share transfer was effected on June 28. Parallel to these developments, Georges Peter has been appointed as the new CEO of Swissport Hellas.

Swissport International and Lamda Development, the co-owners of Swissport Hellas, took major decisions for the future alignment of the company’s business activities at the board meeting held on June 28. Swissport Hellas is active at Athens and Thessaloniki airports, where it offers a full range of ground handling services including cargo handling. The board took its decisions after Lamda – a co-founder of the Greek-Swiss joint venture with 50% of share capital – expressed its desire to withdraw from the collaboration for strategic reasons.

Encouragingly, another established Swissport partner – Hellas Sud, with Ioannis Grylos – showed interest in forging a more extensive collaboration with the Swissport Group. Grylos already works with Swissport International through Swissport Hellas Sud, the Crete-based franchising company which the partners co-founded in 2003. Swissport Hellas Sud has developed extremely well: the company recently won further ground handling licences for Rhodes and Corfu, and has already commenced operations at these new locations in time for the key summer season.

In transferring co-ownership of Swissport Hellas to Ioannis Grylos, the partners are not only ensuring the continuity of the business concerned. The new ownership arrangement should also enable Swissport Hellas to enhance and better coordinate the commercialisation of its business processes throughout Greece – a development that will be of great benefit to its numerous airline customers, many of whom serve multiple Greek destinations. The new ownership arrangement at Swissport Hellas has also prompted a change in the company’s top management.
Phil McGrane, the present CEO, is to move on to new duties.
He will be succeeded by Georges Peter, who, as General Manager, has successfully steered Swissport Heraklion to business success. Peter assumes his new duties on July 15.

With a workforce of some 21 000 personnel, Swissport International Ltd. (which is majority-owned by London-based Candover Partners Ltd., a leading European buyout specialist) provides ground services for over 70 million passengers and three million tonnes of cargo a year on behalf of some 600 client companies. Swissport is active at 177 airports in 40 countries on five continents, and generated consolidated revenues of CHF 1.295 billion (around USD 1.14 billion) last year.