Menzies aviation deal cleared for take-off

John Menzies, one of Scotland's oldest and largest companies, has hailed the regulatory approval of its acquisition of Airline Services as it noted that 2018 trading has been in line with market expectations.

Forsyth Black took the CEO reins in September. Picture: contributed.
Forsyth Black took the CEO reins in September. Picture: contributed.

In the statement ahead of results being unveiled on 13 March, the firm said it is “very pleased” to acknowledge the announcement by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) granting full clearance of the deal, which was struck in April and takes it into four new airports. “We now look forward to taking control of the business, driving the identified synergies and boosting our footprint and product offering across our UK business,” said Menzies, which started out in 1833 selling The Scotsman from its shop on Edinburgh’s Princes Street.

In September, the group completed the sale of its distribution arm to focus wholly on aviation, and in December welcomed the decision by the CMA to provisionally approve the purchase of Manchester-based Airline Services.

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The transaction had been referred for an in-depth “Phase 2” investigation after an initial probe raised concerns over de-icing services at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Heathrow airports, and ground-handling services at Gatwick and Manchester airports.

Edinburgh-based Menzies today also provided an update on its pension fund, with a “significant” fall in the funding deficit.

The group in August reported that underlying pre-tax profit rose to £28.5 million in the six months to 30 June from £24.7m a year earlier, while turnover lifted 4.5 per cent to £1.25 billion.