Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) and Aviapartner join forces to create the European leader and global second largest player in ground handling services.
WFS’ and Aviapartner’s shareholders have agreed to combine the two companies, with Aviapartner to join WFS. The new group will be controlled by LBO France, WFS’ majority shareholder. Shareholders of the new entity will include Aviapartner’s shareholders including 3i, which will be represented on WFS’ board of directors.
With nearly 1 billion euros of annual revenue, the new entity will become the European leader and global #2 in ground handling services. The new group will benefit from significant development opportunities in its current markets and in its international expansion. Aviapartner and WFS will leverage their complementarities, notably in Europe (Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy).
The new group will continue to develop the existing « Aviapartner » and « WFS » brands as they both benefit from strong recognition and robust reputation in the industry, particularly in terms of safety, service quality and competitiveness. Global Cargo handling activities as well as Passenger handling activities outside Europe will be run under the “WFS” brand name. The “Aviapartner” brand will be used for the development of Passenger handling activities in Europe.
The group will employ approximately 17,000 people and will continue to offer direct and indirect job opportunities in France, Belgium and other countries where it operates.
European Passenger handling activities will be managed from Aviapartner’s head office and historical base in Brussels (Zaventem). The group will be headquartered at WFS’ current head office in Paris.
Olivier Bijaoui, Chairman of the Management Board of WFS, will become President of the new entity. Laurent Levaux, President of Aviapartner, will be Vice-President of the new entity.
The transaction is subject to the prior approval of the relevant competition authorities.