John Menzies secures deal for US firm ASIG

John Menzies secures deal for US firm ASIG

Logistics group John Menzies has strengthened its airport services business by securing a $202m (£153m) deal to buy plane refuelling specialist ASIG.

The Edinburgh-based firm said the tie-up will double the size of its North American aviation arm and create one of the largest airport services companies in the world. 

ASIG, which is based in Orlando, Florida, but owned by BBA Aviation in the UK, has operations in seven countries and notched up annual revenues of $415.8m (£272m) to the end of December last year.

Menzies will fund the deal through  a new debt package, including a $250m dollar (£189 million) loan, a £150m revolving credit facility and a £75m equity rights issue. 

Dermot Smurfit, chairman of Menzies, said: "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."

Menzies said the tie-up will be ‘materially earnings-enhancing’ in the first year, while delivering pre-tax cost savings of around £10.5m in the financial year to December 31 2018. The takeover is scheduled for completion by the end of this year.

Shares in Menzies rose by more than 5% on the London Stock Exchange.

Iberum analyst Gerald Khoo said while the deal was expected, it was still " a positive move nonetheless."

Khoo said: "The proceeds are to be used to reduce debt, improving the group's leverage headroom. The sale also further increases the group's focus on business aviation.

"Despite the improved balance sheet and stabilising earnings momentum, we remain concerned about lacklustre industry growth and believe neither this nor the late stage of the cycle are reflected in the valuation."

 

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