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Swissport acquires Aerocare

Aerocare, Australia’s leading aviation ground handling operator, today announced that global market leader Swissport is acquiring it under a new ownership arrangement that will see the company recapitalized and positioned for continued strong future growth.

Headquartered in Zurich, Swissport provides airport ground and cargo handling services to more than 230 million passengers at 280 airports in 48 countries across five continents, including at New York JFK, Tokyo Narita, Vancouver International, Berlin Tegel, London Heathrow, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo, and Rio De Janeiro Galeao airports. It employs 62,000 staff worldwide.

The new partnership offers an exciting opportunity for Aerocare, its customers, employees, airlines and aviation partners including:

  • Access to Swissport’s experienced management team and its world-leading safety, security and operating systems;
  • Swissport’s complementary aviation service portfolio, which will help further extend and expand on Aerocare’s existing facilities and services;
  • An opportunity to grow the Aerocare businesses further across Australasia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Swissport spent more than a year in discussions and in conducting extensive due diligence on Aerocare, confirming that it has best-in-class standards, procedures and training programs, and excellent potential for future growth.

Under the new ownership structure, Swissport will acquire Aerocare and its subsidiary companies Skycare, Carbridge and EasyCart from existing owners including Archer Capital for an undisclosed sum.

Swissport’s unconditional offer has received all requisite regulatory approvals including that of Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

Following the closing of the acquisition in the coming weeks, Swissport will invest to grow and enhance Aerocare’s operations and employee base. Aerocare’s management team will also continue to lead the Aerocare business from its Australian headquarters.

Glenn Rutherford, CEO of Aerocare, commented:

“Aerocare is delighted to be joining the most prestigious ground handling company in the world.

“This is an exciting time for Aerocare, as 2017 marks our 25th anniversary. We’ve grown from a small regional business to become the Australasian champion, and have now secured our future as an important part of the unquestioned global leader.

“Over the last four years alone we have significantly invested in improved systems, people and training.

“This has seen the number of flights we service double to more than 160,000 per year, the number of customers we service grow to 15 million annually, our workforce has expanded from 1,500 to more than 3,000 employees, and the number of airports we service has grown from 23 to 36.“Importantly, throughout our entire history, and after handling well over one million flights, Aerocare has never had a single penalty for safety, security or employment conditions, which we understand is unprecedented for a business of this scale.

“Today’s announcement means that Aerocare will be able to improve and expand our services further by accessing Swissport’s expertise and operating practices, providing us with a springboard for further growth.

“Aerocare employees will also have significantly expanded career opportunities, as we now come under the umbrella of the largest ground handler in the world, operating across almost 50 countries.

“With decades of experience across the world’s busiest airports, Swissport brings a unique set of specialist industry expertise, providing unrivalled knowledge in aviation safety and security.”

Eric Born, President & CEO of Swissport, commented:

“Aerocare has an impressive track record and is the market leader in a region where we anticipate continued growth in the coming years. It perfectly complements our strategic priorities for growth and operational excellence, and we are delighted to have the Aerocare team joining Swissport.

“Aerocare has a motivated and professional workforce, market leading systems, and practices which have seen it record one of the best safety and security records in the region.

“Together we will become part of a larger global organization that will open the door to new opportunities for further growth and development.”

Media enquiries:

Apollo Communications, Adam Connolly, +61 417 170 084

About Swissport

Swissport International Ltd provides ground services for more than 230 million passengers and handles 4.3 million tonnes of cargo a year on behalf of some 835 client-companies in the aviation sector. With a workforce of more than 62,000 personnel, Swissport is active at more than 280 stations in 48 countries across five continents, and generates consolidated operating revenue of EUR 2.7 billion.

About Aerocare

Established in 1992, Aerocare is the leading Australasian provider of outsourced flight support services, which include customer service, baggage and ramp handling, cleaning, and other ancillary services. Aerocare is led by an experienced management team, with a focus on high customer service levels and an unwavering commitment to safety, evidenced by an injury rate one-tenth the industry average.  It is the only Australian-owned baggage handler certified to the highest global standard of operations, safety and security – IATA’s Safety Audit for Ground Operations accreditation.

In the last three years alone, Aerocare has invested heavily to:

  • Grow the number of flights it services to more than 160,000 per year;
  • Grow the number of airports it services from 23 to 36;
  • Improve its safety record, so that it now has an injury incidence one-tenth the industry average;
  • Pay all employees above industry award agreement levels;
  • Grow the employee base from 1,500 to 3,000;
  • Be a leader in moving its workforce from casual status to the security of permanent employment with the proportion of permanent employees rising from 30% to more than 90% today, with the remainder provided with a standing offer to move to permanent employment any time at their election.
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