Ogden Aviation

08 Oct 1999



Simmons & Simmons Rome office advises on Landmark Deal following EU Directive on Privatisation of Airport Handling Services Sector

Ogden Holdings B.V. ("Ogden Aviation") recently acquired a 49% stake in Aeroporti di Roma Handling S.p.A. ("AdR Handling"), the new joint venture handling company incorporated by Aeroporti di Roma ("AdR"). Following its privatisation, AdR declared its intention to enter into an international joint venture with a strategic partner, the aim of which would be to improve competitiveness and to promote the company's presence in the international handling services sector.

Simmons & Simmons Rome office advised Ogden Aviation (a wholly owned subsidiary of Ogden Corporation) on its bid to become the strategic partner in the proposed joint venture. Following the success of the bid, Simmons & Simmons also advised the client on the joint venture itself.

The transaction represents the first of its kind in Italy following the EU Directive on the privatisation of the aviation services sector. The new company, AdR Handling, will take over AdR's ramp and passenger handling services (with the exception of services provided to Gruppo Alitalia) at Rome's Fiumicino airport. It is the first alliance of this type to be established in the wake of the Italian government's plans for the privatisation of the Italian handling services sector.

Ogden Aviation is one of the world's leading providers of aviation support services and the world's largest independent ground handling company. The company has a presence in over 130 airports, situated in 23 countries on 5 continents worldwide. Ogden Aviation, which has over 300 airlines as clients, forms part of Ogden Corporation, a company which is quoted on the New York Stock Exchange and whose activities extend to the entertainment and energy sectors.

The Simmons & Simmons team was led by partner Filippo Pingue, assisted by Giovan Battista Santangelo, Filippo Fioretti, Marco Misiti and Angus Miln. Filippo Pingue commented:

"We were glad to be able to assist this client with the preparation of a very strong bid which proved to be successful. The transaction is of interest to the European aviation handling industry as a whole and is likely to be followed by other strategic partnerships of a similar type. The liberalisation of the sector is likely to lead to a general increase in private sector participation in ground handling services. The Simmons & Simmons team drew on the Italian offices' extensive experience in the aviation sector and on a corporate practice which continues to go from strength to strength."


Notes for editors:

1. Simmons & Simmons is worldclass law firm with offices in London, Paris, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Lisbon, Milan, Rome, Madrid, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York with over 1,400 staff worldwide. For further information on Simmons & Simmons please visit our website at www.simmons-simmons.com.

2. Simmons & Simmons has developed a significant aviation practice (including regulatory work) in recent years drawing on its considerable experience in the travel, rail and asset finance sectors. Significant matters include advising eight major European airlines in relation to their complaint to the European Commission in respect of an Italian decree (the Burlando Decree) concerning the distribution of air traffic at Milan's Linate and Malpensa airports; advising Carlson UK on the leasing and aviation aspects of the merger of a fleet of Carlson/Caledonian and Thomas Cook/Flying Colours aircraft; The Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft project with a capital value in the region of £2.5 billion (which is the Ministry of Defences' largest PFI project to date); and British Airways Plc on the outsourcing to BAX Global of the provision and management of engineering stores and logistics services relating to aircraft parts with a value of approximately £500 million.