Menzies Aviation to acquire majority stake in Groundforce

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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.

Groundforce handles over 100,000 aircraft turns each year, across its operations at five airports in Portugal: Humberto Delgado Airport in Lisbon, Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport in Porto, Gago Coutinho Airport in Faro, Madeira International Airport, and Porto Santo Airport 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.

The executed subscription agreement establishes the general terms and conditions of Groundforce’s recovery plan.

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.

For TAP, this process is crucial for the stability and improvement of Groundforce’s operational performance.

In March last year, Menzies agreed a £571m takeover offer from Agility subsidiary National Aviation Services (NAS).

NAS was selected as a preferred bidder for Groundforce in August 2022.

Hassan El-Houry, chairman, Menzies Aviation, 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. 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, chief executive, Menzies Aviation, stated: “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 to deliver the safest, most secure and consistent services to our airline and airport partners at these five airports across Portugal.”

Menzies and NAS finalise £571m takeover deal

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]