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Swissport acquires a major ground handling company in Seoul

Swissport International is to acquire a substantial shareholding in the Globe Ground Korea ground handling company, enabling the world`s leading aviation services group to offer full passenger and cargo handling services…

Swissport International is to acquire a substantial shareholding in the Globe Ground Korea ground handling company, enabling the world`s leading aviation services group to offer full passenger and cargo handling services at Seoul`s Incheon international airport. The transfer of operations to the new Swissport name is scheduled for July 1st, 2005.



Seoul will be Swissport`s third major operating location in Asia, after Manila and Singapore. With growth and a focus on major airline hubs both key success factors in the currently-consolidating international ground handling market, Swissport has decided to acquire the former Globe Ground Korea from its present shareholders. No details are being provided of the terms of the transaction or the new shareholding structure. The legal closing for the transaction is expected for end of May. Start of operations is scheduled for July 1st. The transaction was initiated by Mr. Hayo Hummerjohann, CEO of World Trade Merchant Group, Ltd., New York, advisor specialising in the field of Airlines and Logistics Transportation business.



The company, which will now be known as Swissport Korea Ltd., will employ some 160 personnel and offer a full range of ground handling services. It will also bring a new 6600-square-metre cargo terminal into operation on July 1. The business acquired amounts to over 2 000 flights a year, which are serviced for a wide range of customers including key clients Lufthansa and Cathay Pacific.



In addition to Swissport, two other ground handling companies are active at Seoul`s Incheon Airport. The airport, which is a key international hub, saw further sizeable growth in 2004, handling around 150 000 flights and a total of 24 million passengers. The airport is also one of the world`s most important air cargo hubs, and handled some 2.5 million tonnes of cargo last year.



International airlines today are extremely keen to see their ground handling partners extend their services to as many of their destinations as possible, says J.W. Kim, CEO-designate of Swissport Korea. By collaborating with Swissport, smaller and medium-sized ground handlers can sustainably strengthen their own positions, as more and more of the world`s major airlines come to opt for global quality brands and systemwide handling agreements.



The acquisition also makes sound business sense to Dr Ludwig Bertsch, Executive Vice President Africa, Asia, Middle East & Global Cargo at Swissport International. Developing our business in the rapidly-growing Asian market is a top Swissport priority, Bertsch confirms. So we will continue to seek out the kind of attractive collaboration opportunities within the region that can help us serve our airline customers as comprehensively as we can.



Further promising regional developments



Swissport reports further good news from elsewhere in its Asian operations. The Swissport Group opened its first official representative office in China – in Shanghai – on May 1, strengthening its presence in local and regional markets. Swissport now aims to expand and intensify its existing contacts in China and seek and develop new partnership opportunities over the next few months.



Unitpool, Swissport`s specialist global container management subsidiary, will be opening a new office in Bangkok on May 16. The new operation is centred on a team of specifically-trained IT specialists who will provide global professional ULD data management services. Unitpool has established itself as one of the world`s leading container logistics companies, with a customer base that already extends to 28 airlines.

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