Dubai-based air service provider dnata announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire a 30 per cent share in Italian company, Airport Handling SPA.
Dnata, part of the Emirates Group, said it will have a majority representation on Airport Handling’s board through which it will control day-to-day operations.
Under the agreement, the company will also have a call option to acquire a further 40 per cent share in the Italian firm.
The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded last year, Airport Handling offers passenger, ramp, baggage and cargo handling services to over 60 airlines at Milan’s two major airports, Malpensa and Linate. It employs 1,800 people and under the new deal, employee terms will not be affected, dnata said.
The transaction is subject to competition approval by Italian authorities and the European Union. This is expected to be received by the end of November 2015.
“We continue to grow dnata’s international operations where we find the right opportunities and the right partners,” said dnata’s divisional senior vice president of International Airport Operations Stewart Angus.
“Any acquisition or partnership that we enter has to add value to our business, customers and stakeholders.”
Dnata already has a strong presence in Italy, having fully acquired flight catering company Servair Airchef in 2013. It currently operates catering facilities at 22 airports.
The Dubai-based company has been rapidly expanding its international presence in the last few years.
In the past five years, dnata has made multi-million investments at over 40 airports in Italy, the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Romania, and the Czech Republic – spanning passenger and ground handling, cargo facilities and catering operations.
Overall, it has operations in 78 airports across the Middle East, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and North America offering services to 380 airline customers globally.