The Belgian-owned Irish holding company ASL Aviation has been acquired by Star Capital, a European private equity firm, in a deal said to be worth more than €200 million.
The airline group was until now owned by Compagnie Maritime Belge (51%) and 3P Air Freighters (49%), which is controlled by Brussels-based lender Bank Degroof Petercam.
ASL has 100% shareholdings in more than 20 companies across aviation, including ASL Airlines Belgium (which itself took over TNT Airlines after its parent was sold to FedEx), ASL Airlines France (formerly Europe Airpost), ASL Airlines Switzerland, ASL Airlines Hungary, ASL Airlines Spain (in liquidation), ASL Airlines Ireland (formerly Air Contractors).
The ASL Aviation Group owns, operates and manages a fleet of nearly 90 jet and turboprop aircraft, providing services for passengers and cargo fleets: ASL flew 3.3 million passengers and carried 564,222 tonnes of cargo last year.
ASL’s new owner, Star Capital, typically invests in asset-based companies with a strong strategic market position and an enterprise value of between €50m and €1bn.
Hugh Flynn, chief executive of ASL Holdings, said the move was “a positive and progressive investment that will provide the foundation for future growth and expanded service provision”.