Ferrovial enters the airport handling business by acquiring Swissport, the world”s leading independent operator

Press releases

The transaction values Swissport at CHF 1,002 billion (payment for shares and assumed debt) and positions Ferrovial in a market with high growth potential Swissport, the world´s leading independent passenger and cargo handling operator It operates at more than 170 airports in 40 countries; over 90% of revenues are generated in Europe and North America Further progress with business diversification and international expansion Ferrovial has reached an agreement to acquire Swissport - one of the world´s leading handling companies, which operates at over 170 airports in 40 countries- from Candover, a leading European private equity company. The transaction values Swissport at CHF 1,002 billion (646 million euro). Ferrovial will pay CHF 520.8 million (336 million euro) for the shares of the Swiss company and will assume its debt, which amounted to CHF 481.2 million (310 million euro) in December 2004. The acquisition, which is only subject to competition and regulatory approval as well as the standard conditions in this type of transaction, will position Ferrovial as the leading independent player in a sector with considerable growth potential. "This operation is another step in the company´s internationalisation strategy, following investment made by Ferrovial in recent years in the construction industry (Budimex in Poland and, recently, Webber in the US) as well as infrastructure (toll roads in Canada, the US, Ireland, etc. and airports in Sidney and the UK) and services (Amey in the UK). Integrating this business will also enable us to continue expanding in two markets that are strategic for Ferrovial, namely Europe and North America, where Swissport obtains over 90% of its revenues. With Swissport, we maintain our focus on businesses with recurring and stable earnings performance´, stated Joaquín Ayuso, CEO of Ferrovial. "Entering the handling business is consistent with our strategy of growth in services and complements our activities in urban services, facility management and infrastructure maintenance" said Iñigo Meirás, Managing Director of the Services Division. Independent and global, present at more than 170 airports in 40 countries Swissport, the world´s leading independent handling operator (not associated with any airline or airport), reported CHF 1.3 billion (836 million euro) in revenues, with an EBITDA of CHF 102 million (66 million euro) in 2004. Swissport operates in two main lines of business: passenger and ramp services (ground handling) and cargo handling, with a leading position in both. The company also provides other airport services such as fuelling, security, management of ULDs (Unit Load Devices cargo containers for aviation) and  executive aviation services. The Zurich-based company has over 50 years´ experience in the sector and is managed by a solid, seasoned executive team, led by Joseph In Albon, which will continue at the helm after the acquisition. Under the current management, Swissport has expanded rapidly into other countries since the late 1990s by setting up operations in new stations and acquiring local companies with leading market shares. The company currently operates at more than 170 airports in 40 countries, handling around 70 million passengers and servicing over 650 airlines worldwide. The cargo division handled over three million tonnes of cargo in 2004. A sector with growth potential The passenger and cargo handling business, traditionally associated with the airlines and airports themselves, is estimated to be worth 26 billion euro in annual revenues. The business is projected to expand rapidly, at over 5% per year in the coming years. Growth in air traffic (both passenger and cargo), worldwide liberalisation of airport management and the growing trend towards outsourcing of handling by airlines support this favourable forecast. Ferrovial in the services business The Swissport acquisition strengthens Ferrovial´s position in the services sector, where it has become one of Europe"s leading players in the fields of urban services, facility management and infrastructure maintenance in recent years. Ferrovial´s Services division - with operations in Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom - obtained 2.458 billion euro in revenues in 2004. Ferrovial is also involved in airport management through its Infrastructure Division. It currently manages four airports, in Europe (Bristol and Belfast), Australia (Sydney) and Chile, which are used by over 35 million passengers each year. Ferrovial was also recently selected as the preferred bidder for the concession to Exeter airport, in the UK.  


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