How Swissport reshaped the ground-handling industry


Swissport is the global leader in ground-handling and cargo services, with a strong presence in the Americas, Europe and Africa. The company offers ramp services (baggage loading/unloading, push back, de-icing, fuelling), passenger services (check-in/boarding) and cargo services to a diverse range of airlines (more than 650 customers).

After 10+ years of tracking the company and the sector, we acquired Swissport in February 2011 on a proprietary basis thanks to close personal connections with the Spanish construction and infrastructure conglomerate Ferrovial. This followed our belief in the opportunity offered by the increasing outsourcing trends, driven by airport deregulation and airline repositioning on core activities. We aimed to grow Swissport through acquisitions and new contract wins.


Consolidation drives results

Under PAI ownership, Swissport completed several acquisitions in Europe and Latin America, gradually becoming three times bigger than its immediate competitor. The most significant acquisition was Servisair, the world’s #3 ground handler, that was crucial to reinforce the company’s positioning in key existing countries, doubling its presence in the US and Europe. In addition, the company expanded its geographical presence in new markets and benefited from a significant amount of operational and overhead synergies.

  • 10

    years of tracking period

  • 3

    times larger than immediate competitor

  • 5


  • How did we transform Swissport

    Swissport is a world leader with further expansion opportunities in Asia. The investment showcases the depth of PAI’s expertise in Business Services and the strength of its local network, which enabled us to win a market leader at an attractive price and subsequently build it up to create the conditions for a highly successful exit.

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