Rob Kuijpers appointed Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Aviapartner

Aviapartner announces the appointment of Rob Kuijpers as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of the Aviapartner Group, effective 1 January 2006.

At the age of 67, Rob Kuijpers enjoys extensive experience in the aviation sector, holding top-level positions in the industry for over 16 years. He joined DHL as CEO for Europe and Africa in 1988 and was appointed CEO International in 1997. From 1988 he was also responsible for DHL subsidiaries like European Air Transport (EAT) and the hub activities in Brussels; from 1997 onwards he was responsible for all airline and hub activities of DHL International. He became Executive Chairman of the Board of SN Brussels Airlines in 2002 and Virgin Express in April 2005, until September 2005. Prior to joining DHL, he had been Managing Director for Continental Europe at Heinz Europe and was in 2001 the founding partner of KR Transatlantic Partners, an investment fund and consultancy that focuses on investing in American companies for subsequent expansion into Europe.

Picture provided and copyrighted by AVIAPARTNER

Rob Kuijpers’ appointment as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Aviapartner will support the further development ambitions of Aviapartner, the major passenger, ramp and cargo handling group in Europe.

Indeed, underlying growth in passenger numbers across Europe is expected to be in the region of 5%-7% per annum over the medium to long term. In cargo, the underlying growth in cargo volumes across Europe is expected to be around 6%-7% per annum.
It’s in this overall context, and more specifically in the context of the expected further outsourcing of handling services by airlines, that Aviapartner intends to further grow its activities in Europe.

Theo Dilissen, CEO of Aviapartner commented: “We are delighted that Rob Kuijpers has decided to accept this position. We are convinced that his broad knowledge of the passenger and cargo airline industry will be extremely helpful to Aviapartner’s further development plans“.

Rob Kuijpers, Non-Executive Chairman, said: “I’m very happy to join a company with such an outstanding reputation and track record as Aviapartner. In the current passenger and cargo handling market, there is a tremendous potential for growth and we have a bright future ahead of us. I’m looking forward to working with Theo Dilissen and his management team on the further expansion of the Aviapartner Group.”

Mark Redman, Director 3i Europe plc Benelux, commented: “Through our unrivalled people network and sector experience we were able to introduce Rob Kuijpers as Chairman, and have great confidence of his future contribution to Aviapartner’s continued success via his experience and contacts.”

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Aviapartner, whose origin goes back to 1949 and which is holding headquarters in Brussels, is the leading independent ground handler in Continental Europe. Its main shareholder is 3i, a world leader in private equity and venture capital. The Aviapartner group provides a wide range of services at 32 airports in 5 European countries. In 2004, it served 20.8 million passengers, provided ramp handling for some 194,000 aircraft and handled 911,000 tons of cargo. Aviapartner employs more than 5,000 staff. In 2004, the group generated a consolidated turnover of EUR268m.

3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital with a focus on buyouts, growth capital and venture capital across Europe, in the United States and Asia. 3i backed the MBO of Aviapartner in September 2005. Going forward, 3i will work in close partnership with Aviapartner’s management to support the Group’s growth and further its international expansion, both organically and via selective acquisitions.

3i Buyout Business
The 3i European Buyout Business is a leader in the European mid-market. 3i lead mid-market buyouts up to EUR 1bn using insight from local knowledge, international connections, and sector teams. Managing over EUR 3.5bn invested in over 100 companies across Europe, the business invests in all sectors, with a particular focus on media, healthcare and business support services. Some recent investments include NCP – UK - £550m – parking services and traffic management, Keolis - France – EUR 540m - passenger transport, Betapharm - Germany – EUR 300m – pharmaceuticals. Some recent successful exits include Westminster Healthcare – UK - EUR 751m, Travelex – UK – foreign exchange services - £1bn transaction, YBR Group – directories business - EUR 1.8bn.

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