MONTREAL—Canadian tour operator Transat A.T. is selling its Handlex airport services unit to Servisair Holding Canada Inc. for an undisclosed sum.
In addition to Air Transat, Handlex serves about 20 other airlines at various airports, including Trudeau International in Montreal, Pearson in Toronto and Vancouver International Airport.
The 1,200 employees at Handlex provide airport ground services, including passenger reception and check-in, baggage- and cargo-handling, aircraft cleaning and ramp services.
Servisair provides aviation ground services in 118 locations worldwide and currently has about 15,000 employees.
The value of the transaction was not released, although analyst Ben Vendittelli of Laurentian Bank Securities estimated it at $5 million. Servisair said closing is expected within weeks.
Vendittelli said Handlex is a relatively small part of Transat’s business, generating about $50 million of annual revenues compared with $3.65 billion for Transat.
Transat acquired the half of Handlex it didn’t own in 2000 for $1 million
Although Vendittelli said he continues to believe in Transat’s long-term prospects, he said the company will have to show results from its restructuring efforts before its share price climbs again.
Benoit Poirier of Desjardins Capital Markets said the sale is not surprising since Transat had previously indicated it was considering the divestiture.
Poirier said Transat could also eventually sell its real estate investments, which could generate about $50 million.