Menzies completes $202m ‘transformational’ takeover

Menzies will sell the Aberdeen operations of ASIG to get clearance for the takeover. Picture: Contributed

Menzies will sell the Aberdeen operations of ASIG to get clearance for the takeover. Picture: Contributed

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Baggage handler and newspaper distributor John Menzies has completed its takeover of a US rival after agreeing to sell the Aberdeen operations of the business.

The Edinburgh-based logistics group announced the $202 million (£160m) purchase of ASIG in September, describing it as a “transformational” deal that would add plane fuelling to its aviation arm’s range of services and double the size of its operations in North America.

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However, the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) said in December that the acquisition of the business, from BBA Aviation, could lead to a “substantial lessening of competition” in the supply of ground services at Aberdeen Airport, including de-icing and baggage, cargo, ramp and passenger handling.

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Menzies said today that it has agreed with the CMA to “hold the ASIG operations at Aberdeen Airport separately in order to satisfy the requirements of the CMA to ultimately divest those operations and obtain UK merger clearance”.

Forsyth Black, managing director of Menzies Aviation, added: “Whilst ground handling is at the core of our business, ASIG brings exciting new product lines to the group, giving us great opportunities to further strengthen the aviation business.”

ASIG, headquartered in Florida, employs about 8,000 people and is one of the world’s largest independent providers of commercial airline services. It generated revenues of $415.8m in 2015 and has operations in 88 locations across seven countries – including eight of the ten busiest airports in the UK. Aberdeen is the only airport north of the Border at which it has a presence.

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