Swissport in Groundforce bid
The baggage handling company Swissport has been in Lisbon to negotiate a possible buyout of Groundforce.
Millionaire Alfredo Casimiro who owns a significant share in the Portuguese baggage handling company (Groundforce), has been trying to offload his share in the financially troubled baggage handler and there have been various interested parties.
The Spanish fund Atitlan had been in negotiations for the Portuguese company but withdrew. Negotiations with the Belgian company Aviapartner also seem to be waining. Now the CEO of Swissport is in negotiations with the Groundforce boss.
According to the online news source ECO, the Swiss company has been in Lisbon with valuation specialists to see which parts of the operation could be profitable.
At the start of the year, when the company’s financial problems began to become apparent (mostly caused by the standstill of the aviation sector due to Covid-19), various international players began to show an interest in buying Groundforce.
After months of negotiations with airline TAP (main client and minority shareholder with 49.9%), Alfredo Casimiro (who owns 50.1% via holding Pasogal) announced that he was in favour of selling his share.
The entrepreneur hired Nomura bank to act as a consultant in the actual sale. After exclusive negotiations with Atitlan were broken off, Casimiro gave instructions that special attention should be given to Aviapartner, the Belgian company that had tried to buy Groundforce a decade ago. However, these negotiations too have stalled and it is not known if the stumbling block was the price.
Now the company in the running is Swissport whose CEO Eric Born was in Lisbon in recent days. The company had been in negotiations with TAP a decade ago when European competition authorities ordered it to reduce its share to a minority.