CapMan has reached an agreement to sell its 67% shareholding in Inflight Service – the Swedish travel retail services provider – to private equity company Triton for an undisclosed sum. Inflight, which dominates the Scandinavian
airline and ferry concessionaire and distribution market was originally acquired by CapMan in 2005.
‘We are very pleased with the transaction that has been announced today and with the development in Inflight Service during our ownership period. Inflight is now ready for a new phase in its international expansion, and has good growth prospects going forward. We believe that Triton is a strong owner for the company and they will be able to support the management team in taking Inflight Service to the next level,’ says CapMan Partner, Mats Gullbrandsson.
The funds exiting from Inflight Service are CapMan Equity VII, CapMan Mezzanine IV, and Finnmezzanine III A and B funds. CapMan says that the investment has been good for the investors in the exiting funds. The exit will not affect CapMan Plc's result, as the exiting funds are not yet in carry. The funds concerned, with the exception of CapMan Mezzanine IV, are expected to start generating carried interest during 2010?2011.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and requires the approval of competition authorities. It is expected that the transaction will be closed by the end of January 2010.
With a sales turnover of SEK.1,645m ($206.4m) in 2008 and extensive business with a multitude of airlines, ferries/cruiselines and airport shops both large and small, Inflight Service Europe AB is the most successful inflight company in Scandinavia, providing strategic purchasing and distribution services, plus full concession retailing. Earlier this year it won the SAS inflight travel retail contract worth some $322.5m over five years.
Inflight Service also operates a chain of EURO SHOP airport stores in Poland (Cracow, Gdansk, Posnan and Wroclaw), Estonia (Tallinn) and Latvia (Riga) which it purchased from SAS Trading in 2005.
But it is the company's increasingly sophisticated business with Scandinavia's leading charter and scheduled airlines that has tended to take centre stage since it was founded in 1991 by Johan Kullander and two colleagues – all previously with the SAS Group before they struck out on their own.
The number of airlines that IFS now works with reads like a who's who of the Nordic charter airline industry today, including Air Finland, Malm? Aviation, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Primera Air, SAS Charter, Spanair, Novair, Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia and TUI Fly Nordic.
At the same time, IFS has also successfully added to its customer portfolio over the last year, taking over the supply and shop operations on leading Polish ferry operator Unity Line's four ships (operational from May 1 2009), as well as the strategic purchasing, logistics and distribution for Norway's largest cruise and transport shipping company Color Line back in October 2008. In April last year it was also appointed by Gate Gourmet to handle the duty free sales on board Norwegian Air Shuttle.