'Compelling transaction'

Menzies in £153m swoop on aviation firm

Dermot Smurfit websiteAviation and distribution firm John Menzies has struck a $202m (£153m) “transformational” deal to buy a rival business.

Edinburgh-headquartered Menzies is buying ASIG, an aviation and fuelling services provider, from BBA Aviation in a deal backed by a £75m rights issue and a new debt package.

Menzies described the deal as a “strategically and financially compelling transaction” which strengthens its position as a leading player in the global aviation services market.

Chairman Dr Dermot Smurfit (pictured), who joined the board in July, said: “This is a transformational deal for Menzies and will significantly increase Menzies Aviation’s footprint globally while also adding fuelling to our operations.

“The transaction will create one of the largest aviation services businesses in the world, doubling the size of our North American operations, while strengthening Menzies Aviation’s service offering at major international gateways such as London Heathrow, San Francisco, Denver and Los Angeles.”

He said the company was confident of achieving significant cost synergies following the acquisition which will require shareholder approval.

ASIG is one of the largest independent providers of commercial airline services in the world. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, it currently has operations in 88 locations across seven countries. For the year ended 31 December 2015, it achieved revenues of $415.8m.

Dr Smurfit had been appointed to the Menzies board this summer after pressure from German investor shareholder Value Management (SVM) following a poor 2015.

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