ECS Group sold as it looks to fund future acquisitions

Cargo sales agent ECS has been acquired by investment firm Naxicap Partners to help continue the GSSA’s acquisition strategy.
Naxicap said that in a market ripe for consolidation, offering a strong pool of build-up opportunities, the company intends to pursue an active strategy of acquisitions, "generating significant commercial synergies", while continuing to extend the range of services offered to clients, providing global and innovative solutions.
Angèle Faugier, partner at Naxicap Partners, said: “ECS has demonstrated an amazing growth trajectory under the leadership of Bertrand Schmoll and Adrien Thominet who have succeeded in both developing and structuring the Group around solid fundamentals (high-quality client portfolio, an integrated global network, efficient local teams, premium services).
"We are convinced that the Group has what it takes to establish itself as the major consolidation platform in the market and to be a driving force for innovation in the cargo industry.
"We want to provide its management team with the means to put their ambitious development plans into action.”
Grégory Pernot, director of private debt at Ardian France, which arranged financing for the deal, added:“With ECS’ clear ambition of selectively penetrating and reinforcing its positions in key areas of its already broad network, the Unitranche alternative stood out as a compelling solution to accelerate the company’s growth in the next few years."
The Unitranche package will also include a dedicated committed acquisition facility to support the growth of the company and finance future build ups.
Earlier this year, the GSSA told Air Cargo News it would target further acquisitions in the Asia region.
ECS manages 900,000 tonnes of air cargo on behalf of airlines, representing an annual sales volume of over €1bn. It offers a worldwide network of 137 offices across 47 countries, with over 1,000 staff working as a fully integrated organisation.
The company has a history of expansion through acquisitions – major recent acquisitions such as AVS in Asia (2016) and ExpAir in Canada (2017) strengthening ECS’s position in markets with strong growth potential.
ECS has been owned by Alpha Private Equity since 2013. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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