Groundforce Portugal prepares to merge with Brazil’s SATA

25 August 2006

Lisbon, Portugal, 25 Aug – Groundforce Portugal, a subsidiary of Portuguese air carrier TAP, is to merge with SATA, the largest handling company in Brazil, with turnover from the two companies expected to total 330 million euros, Portuguese financial daily Diário Económico reported.

The paper said that the agreement signed this week outlines that negotiations to define the conditions for acquiring SATA, would be concluded within six weeks.

The discussions so far point to the Portuguese company taking control fo SATA’s management.

“We want to have local partners that ensure the sustainability of the business, but we want control of management,” said Ângelo Esteves, chief executive of Groundforce Portugal, without disclosing any financial information on the deal.

SATA, which is a Varig group company, is the largest handling company in Latin America and is present in 27 Brazilian airports and two in Uruguay.

Diário Económico said that in Portugal Groundforce has an 85 percent share of the handling market and has Portway, owned by the ANA-Aeroportos de Portugal group, as its main competitor.

Worldwide, Groundforce’s main competitor is Swissport, owned by Spanish group Ferrovial. (macauhub)