Swissport Sale On Track

ON FEBRUARY 2, 2011, Swissport and its prospective new owners PAI partners announced the closing of a secured bond financing.  The new arrangements represent a major milestone towards the completion of Swissport’s sale to PAI partners by Ferrovial.
On November 2, 2010, Ferrovial, through its subsidiary Ferrovial Services, reached an agreement to sell Swissport International AG, the world’s largest airport ground handling company, to private equity firm PAI partners for approximately CHF 900 million (US$954m).  Since the announcement of the acquisition, the Swissport Group and PAI partners have been working closely together with Swissport’s current owner Ferrovial to achieve a successful transition of ownership and closing of the sale, with the aim of formally transferring ownership of the Swissport Group to PAI partners: “in the January/February period”.  The two parties say that the transfer of ownership is progressing, “as expected and, as a result, the final closing of the acquisition should be effected in mid-February as planned.”
Swissport and PAI partners also announced the closing of a secured bond financing, the proceeds of which will be used to fund a portion of the acquisition price and to refinance certain existing indebtedness of the Swissport Group, through an offering by an affiliate of PAI partners to a wide international investor base.  The seven-year bond will be issued in two tranches of CHF 350 million and USD 425 million.  Citigroup Global Markets, Barclays, BNP Paribas and Royal Bank of Canada are the joint lead managers and joint book runners.
“We are very pleased to have secured this financing,” said Per H Utnegaard, President & CEO of Swissport International.
“We are especially delighted to have attracted strong demand for the bond.  Key success factors here are our resilient business model, our stable and predictable revenue streams and our strong cash flows, as well as our geographical diversity combined with a strong management team.  We are now looking forward to implementing our further growth plans together with our new future owners PAI partners.”