Aviapartner becomes one of South Africa's largest ground handling companies

Belgian airport services provider Aviapartner is experiencing major growth. Two weeks after winning the concession for 12 Spanish airports, owner Laurent Levaux is now expanding into South Africa, write financial newspapers De Tijd and L'Echo on Saturday.

Aviapartner has acquired a 51 per cent stake in South African airport service provider Colossal, one of two handlers operating in the country. Colossal employs 2,400 people and operates at South Africa's six major airports. The rest of the shares remain in South African hands, a requirement to be allowed to provide ground services at the country's airports. Levaux declined to disclose financial details of the deal.

Levaux had been eyeing the African market for several years, but the investment fund HIG, his American co-shareholder, did not agree. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Levaux bought back HIG's shares, allowing him to go ahead with his African plans.

In recent years, Aviapartner has grown from a baggage handler to a company that provides almost all the services ​ airlines need at airports, including handling baggage, manning check-in counters and escorting children and people with disabilities to the aircraft.



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