China’s HNA-owned Swissport acquires Australia’s Aerocare from Archer Capital

Visual from Aerocare website

China’s HNA-owned Swissport is acquiring Australia-based aviation ground handling operator Aerocare from private equity firm Archer Capital for an undisclosed sum, Aerocare announced on November 22.

Under the new ownership structure, Swissport will acquire Aerocare and its subsidiary companies Skycare, Carbridge and EasyCart from existing owners including Archer Capital, it said in a statement.

Archer Capital had bought Aerocare from Next Capital for close to $200 million reportedly in July 2014.

Swissport spent more than a year in discussions and in conducting extensive due diligence on Aerocare, it said. The company has received all requisite regulatory approvals for the acquisition 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: “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.”

“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.”

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.

HNA Group had acquired Swissport at the start of 2016 from PAI Partners.

“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,” said Eric Born, President & CEO of Swissport.

Since inception Archer Capital has closed over 35 acquisitions involving total aggregate funding in excess of A$6 billion. Archer Capital currently has $2 billion of funds under management and advice, as per its LinkedIn profile.

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