Ferrovial to sell Swissport to PAI Partners for €654m

Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial has agreed to sell its airport ground handling company Swissport International to Paris-based private equity firm PAI Partners for €654m. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year following approval from the competition authorities.

Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial has reached agreement to sell its ground handling company Swissport International to private equity firm PAI Partners for CHF900 million (€654 million; $917 million).

The enterprise value of the operation is CHF1.2 billion, Ferrovial said in a press release.

The transaction is expected to close by end of the year after receiving approval from the competition authorities and upon reaching a final agreement on the financing structure.

“The proceeds from the Swissport sale will be invested in new infrastructure and services projects that we consider to have high potential of value creation,” said Inigo Meiras, chief executive officer of Ferrovial.

Ferrovial bought Swissport, which operates in 38 countries, in October 2005 for €336 million. The company posted revenues of €1.12 billion and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of €81 million last year, the statement said.

Last week, Ferrovial announced plans to sell a 10 percent stake in BAA, the UK airport operator, to help pay down debt. Ferrovial currently owns 55.87 percent of BAA and has been divesting assets to help reduce its debt pile throughout the year. 

PAI Partners is a Paris-based private equity firm focusing on leveraged buyout transactions in Europe. The company manages a €2.7 billion leveraged buyout fund.