EQT pays $130m for aviation services firm

The Swedish fund manager has acquired pallet and container provider CHEP Aerospace Solutions from Aussie logistics group Brambles.

Swedish private equity firm EQT has bought CHEP Aerospace Solutions, an Australian aviation services company, from parent company Brambles through its second infrastructure fund.

EQT paid $130 million for the company, which manages and maintains containers and pallets used for the transportation of cargo and baggage on aircraft, known as unit load devices.

Since forming in 2011, CHEP has grown to generate about $80 million in revenue. It now serves over 90 airlines. EQT said the company will be rebranded and will have an industrial board of directors added to the team.

“CHEP Aerospace Solutions provides critical infrastructure and services to the aviation industry and fits well with the EQT Infrastructure strategy of investing in medium-sized operating infrastructure companies with opportunities for additional growth and development,” said Ulrich Köllensperger, director at EQT and investment adviser to EQT Infrastructure.

“The company has a proven business model, an impressive customer base and a promising pipeline of prospective airline clients.”

The CHEP deal is the latest niche infrastructure investment made by the EQT Infrastructure II fund. The fund’s portfolio also includes a US laundry service and a marine chassis equipment firm. Its predecessor – EQT Infrastructure I – bought a cooking oil business in 2011 before selling it four years later.

The deal is expected to close later this month.