Chinese company to acquire Swissport Group

by MM&D Online Staff

Zurich, Switzerland—PAI Partners SAS (“PAI Partners”) has agreed to the sale of Swissport to HNA Group Co Ltd, a global enterprise group based in Haikou, China. Swissport, the world’s largest ground and cargo handling company, will remain as a stand-alone business within HNA Group, complementing HNA’s existing activities including aviation, airport management, logistics and tourism.

Under HNA’s ownership, Swissport will continue to expand its global footprint and continue to deliver the highest quality and value added services to existing and future customers. On the announcement, Swissport Chairman Thomas Staehelin commented: “We are pleased to become part of HNA Group and to continue to further strengthening our service offering and global network.”

Adam Tan, President of HNA Group, said: “HNA is excited to support Swissport’s world class management team as they continue to provide the highest quality service to the airline industry and their passengers. HNA is committed to Swissport’s future success in the global aviation market.”

Ricardo de Serdio, Partner at PAI Partners: “The acquisition by HNA of Swissport confirms the strategic value of the company as the worldwide leader and best consolidation platform in the still fragmented airport services market. PAI has a long established track record of identifying European companies with international growth potential.”

The total transaction value for 100 percent of the company is of CHF 2.73 billion (CAD$3.65 billion). The transaction is subject to customary regulatory and anti-trust approvals by the relevant authorities. Closing is expected by end of this year.

Swissport International Ltd provides ground services for around 224 million passengers and handles 4.1 million tonnes of cargo a year on behalf of some 700 client-companies in the aviation sector. With a workforce of around 60,000 personnel, Swissport is active at more than 270 stations in 48 countries across five continents, and generates consolidated operating revenue of CHF 3.0 billion.

HNA Group, a Fortune 500 Company and a leader in aviation and tourism, was founded in 1993. In the past two decades, it grew from a local aviation transportation operator to a multinational conglomerate encompassing aviation, airport management, financial services, real estate, retail, tourism, and logistics. In 2014, HNA Group had revenues in excess of US $25 billion, US $72 billion in assets, 11 listed companies, and have more than 110,000 employees worldwide.

PAI Partners is a European private equity firm with offices in Paris, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Munich and Stockholm.