Menzies to buy 50.1% stake in Portugal's Groundforce
Groundforce handles over 100,000 aircraft turns each year across operations at five of the busiest airports in Portugal
Menzies Aviation has signed a subscription agreement with TAP Air Portugal and Groundforce to acquire a controlling stake of 50.1% in Groundforce, the airline’s aviation services arm.
"The agreement is a decisive step towards the recovery of Groundforce, reinforcing the confidence of all its stakeholders in the future of this company, and also a significant milestone in strengthening handling capacity, with an impact on the entire national economy," says a release from Menzies.
Groundforce handles over 100,000 aircraft turns each year across operations at five of the busiest airports in Portugal: Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS) in Lisbon, Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) in Porto, Gago Coutinho Airport (FAO) in Faro, Madeira International Airport (FNC), and Porto Santo Airport (PXO) on Porto Santo Island in Madeira. The aviation services company provides ground and air cargo services to several global airlines including TAP, its main customer.
Upon the granting of all necessary authorisations and consents, the recovery plan should be submitted by the insolvency administrators for the review discussion and approval by Groundforce’s creditors assembly, the release added. "For TAP, this process is crucial for the stability and improvement of the company’s operational performance, with a direct impact on TAP’s activity and the satisfaction of its customers."
On completion, Menzies Aviation will have a 65 percent market share in Portugal and more than 3,000 employees, the release said.
“We have strong conviction in the global aviation industry, and we are encouraged by the pace of recovery for both passenger and cargo volumes following the pandemic disruption," says Hassan El-Houry, Chairman, Menzies Aviation. "This transaction is further evidence of our scale and ability to enter a market in a meaningful way as a long-term investor with a strong commitment to deliver industry leading services to airline and airport customers. We look forward to working with the Groundforce team to take advantage of the opportunities in this market.”
Philipp Joeinig, CEO, Menzies aviation adds: “Groundforce has had a leading position in the aviation services market in Portugal for decades, and we are pleased to have signed this agreement which enables us to enter the market at scale. We will work to ensure a seamless transition for all stakeholders including airline customers and employees. This transition will enable us to deliver the safest, most secure and consistent services to our airline and airport partners at these five airports across Portugal.”