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ASL Aviation, the company which bought TNT’s air operations after its acquisition by FedEx, has been bought by Star Capital, a European private equity firm.
The fund manager bought the airline group from Compagnie Maritime Belge, which held a 51% stake having first invested in 1998, and 3P Air Freighters, a 49% shareholder whose sole interest was ASL.
In 2017, ASL made a profit of €15.27m, on revenue of €957.7m.
According to company accounts, TNT’s operations, acquired in May 2016, would have added €804m in revenue for the full-year 2016, resulting in additional profit of €21.5m.
ASL spent €53.5m on the acquisition of the integrator’s air services: TNT Airways, Pan Air and 50% of X Air Services.
However, 3P Air Freighters itself made a loss in 2017 of €2.3m, following a profit of €450,335 in 2016. At the end of the year, 3P reduced its share capital and paid €20m to its shareholders, which appeared to be in relation to the acquisition of TNT’s airlines. ASL repaid loans of €21.2m to 3P and €22m to CMB in 2017.
ASL’s new owner, Star Capital, typically invests in asset-based companies with a strong strategic market position and enterprise value of between €50m and €1bn.
Hugh Flynn, chief executive of ASL Holdings, said the move was “a positive and progressive investment that will provide the foundation for future growth and expanded service provision”.
ASL has 100% shareholdings in more than 20 companies across aviation, although it sold ACLAS Tecnics, Farnair Training and Farnair Handling in 2017, saying it wanted to focus on its airline and aircraft leasing businesses. It acquired a 72.5% share of India’s QuickJet Cargo, which made a €1.4m loss on revenue of €4.2m. Its 25% share of Safair bought in profits of €2.7m. It also owns 45% of Thai cargo airline K Mile, which made a 2017 loss of €490,000.
ASL Group has some €238m in operating lease payments payable over five years.