Cerberus Capital Management is considering the acquisition of a stake in Swissport Group as the ground handler’s owner, HNA Group, considers its options, according to a recent report.
Bloomberg reported that people with ‘knowledge of the matter’ have disclosed that the private equity firm is considering buying into the ground handler as HNA Group aims to rid itself of one of the biggest corporate debts in China, which it has racked up over time.
HNA Group saw its corporate debt increase as its spree of global acquisitions took its toll on the company’s finances. HNA Group purchased Swissport in 2015 for $2.7bn Swiss francs.
The deal, should it move forward, could see Swissport valued at $3bn, according to Bloomberg’s sources.
Bloomberg also noted that Singapore state investment company Temasek Holdings has previously announced an interest in the ground handler.
Both HNA Group and Swissport did not offer a comment to the news agency.
Earlier this summer, Cerberus agreed to purchase Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) from Platnium Equity for around 1.2bn Euros.
If the Swissport stake acquisition does indeed go ahead, it is not clear if the equity firm’s significant ownership of both ground handler’s will provoke an investigation into anti-competitiveness such as the recent merger of Airport Services and Menzies has in the UK.