Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) announced that it has taken its first step into the Latin America ground handling market by acquiring a controlling shareholding in Orbital Group, a Brazilian provider of ramp, passenger and airport security services. The investment is designed to serve as a platform for WFS to enter the cargo handling market in Brazil as new opportunities emerge.
Founded in 2002, Orbital has operations at 19 airports across Brazil and handles some 23,000 flights a year for over 30 major airline customers. The company employs 1,700 staff and is headquartered in Sao Paulo, and generates annual sales of approximately US$40m.
Under the terms of the deal, Rubens Pereira Leitão Filho, Managing Director of Orbital Group will continue in this role and as a shareholder in the company. Olivier Bijaoui, President and Chief Executive Officer of WFS said, “We’ve been looking for an entry point to the Latin America market for a number of years. Brazil was a clear choice because of its economic strength, growth and the scale of commercial aviation to support the objectives we have in entering the market.”
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