Dubai-listed Agility boosts stake in UK aviation services company John Menzies to 19%

The move comes days after the logistics company acquired 13.2% of shares in John Menzies in a $100m deal

Agility acquired an additional 5.8 per cent stake in John Menzies, the holding company of Menzies Aviation. Photo: Menzies Aviation

Agility, one of the largest logistics companies in the Middle East and North Africa, has increased its stake in UK-based aviation services company John Menzies to 19 per cent after acquiring more shares for 13 million Kuwaiti dinars ($43m).

The deal was done through its subsidiary Agility Strategies Holding, the company said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded.

Agility acquired an additional 5.8 per cent stake in John Menzies, the holding company of Menzies Aviation, for £6.05 ($8.23) per share.

"This will be reflected in the company's financials as per the applicable accounting standards," Agility said.

The deal comes just days after Agility purchased a 13.2 per cent share, valued at $100m, in John Menzies. The acquisition is expected to complement the operations of National Aviation Services (Nas), a Kuwait-based airport services and ground-handling company owned and backed by Agility.

Nas has a presence at more than 55 airports in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, and manages more than 50 airport lounges, the company says on its website.

John Menzies had previously rejected a $636m takeover bid by Nas, saying that the offer undervalued the company.

The global logistics sector, which has been affected by supply chain disruptions and shipping logjam, has been recovering steadily as world trade improves on back of relaxing movement restrictions and resurging economic activity.

Agility has been capitalising on this momentum by acquiring companies that could complement its operations and expand its operations in the region and beyond.

Last year, it sold Global Integrated Logistics business to Danish transport and logistics company DSV Panalpina for $4.77 billion. Following the deal, Agility will have 19.3 million shares in DSV, making it the second-largest shareholder in the Danish company, it said at the time.

The transaction also boosted Agility's third-quarter net profit, which surged to 926.9m dinars, up from 15.3m dinars in the same quarter in 2020. Third-quarter revenue rose 30.2 per cent from a year ago to 65.8m dinars.

Agility also invested $35m last year in blank-cheque company Queen's Gambit Growth Capital, which is merging with Dubai mass transit and shared mobility services provider Swvl in a $1.5bn deal. The Kuwaiti company was also part of the $35.5m growth financing that Swvl raised in August last year.

Updated: February 21, 2022, 10:53 AM