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Firm now 'pure play aviation business'

Menzies exits historic print business in £74.5m deal

Menzies Distribution

End of the road: Menzies is exiting print media connections


John Menzies has severed its ties with the print media business after selling Menzies Distribution to a group of investment funds managed by Endless in a debt-free deal worth £74.5 million.

The Edinburgh-based company says the transaction will achieve its “strategic goal” of creating a pure play aviation services group and its exit from the “structurally declining” print media and retail logistics.

Menzies will retain a 10% stake in the business but will now focus entirely on expanding its position in the structurally growing aviation services market.

The company will also revert to a more standard executive structure by appointing Forsyth Black, currently president & managing director of Menzies Aviation, as chief executive of John Menzies plc.

Giles Wilson is chief financial officer and John Geddes, group company secretary & corporate affairs director.

In an update, the company said Menzies Aviation continues to trade positively and remains on track to deliver full year expectations.

Labour issues within North America continue to prevail but are being addressed and are more than offset by positive trading and continuing contract gain momentum across the rest of the network.

Overall group net debt is in line with expectations. Menzies will announce its interim results for the six months ended 30 June on 14 August.

To ensure that management incentives are aligned to the growth ambitions of the business as a pure play aviation services group, a revised remuneration policy will be proposed at the forthcoming general meeting, together with a new incentive scheme, with full details being published in a shareholder circular.

Dermot Smurfit, chairman, said: “I am delighted to announce today the sale of Menzies Distribution. In doing so we create a pure play aviation services business that operates in a structural growth market and is very well placed to take advantage of the many exciting opportunities that exist.

“In his role as Menzies CEO, Forsyth Black will now focus on growing our market share in the aviation services market, increasing our operating margins and continuing to deliver excellent services to our customers.”

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