Lufthansa subsidiary GlobeGround is to merge its UK ground-handling interests with those of aviation services specialist Menzies Transport Services (MTS). The new company, Menzies World Cargo, will be 80%-owned by MTS and 20% by GlobeGround.

The two companies have been 50:50 partners in the London Cargo Centre (LCC), based at London Heathrow, since its launch in July 1998. Under the new agreement, MTS will transfer 20% of its UK cargo-handling operations to GlobeGround for £7.1 million ($11.1 million), with GlobeGround transferring an additional 30% stake in the LCC to MTS for £4.7 million. MTS gets the net balance of £2.4 million in cash.

MTS parent company John Menzies has been building its aviation support services business since the purchase of courier wholesaler Scan Courier and air freight wholesaler CargoSave in the early 1990s. Its focus has been on cargo handling and transport, aided by the purchases of air freight consolidator AMI and cargo haulier/ ramp transport operator Concorde Express in 1995.

MTS was formed in 1996. After establishing the LCC it bought Anglo-Australian BOC Cargo Services last year and the former Aer Lingus Heathrow handling operation in January.

Menzies World Cargo will have capacity of 350,000t at Heathrow and handle 35 airlines, making it the airport's largest independent cargo handler.

Source: Flight International