Brambles Acquires Airline Container Pool Operator

Brambles Limited is pleased to announce it has acquired Unitpool AG, the leading independent provider of pooled containers and pallets used by airlines for the storage of passenger baggage and cargo, for 36 million Swiss francs (US$35 million).

Brambles CEO Tom Gorman said: “Unitpool is a natural fit for Brambles given our strategy of pursuing profitable growth opportunities in line with our core expertise in the provision of pooled equipment services.

“The acquisition opens an exciting new sector for Brambles with appealing growth prospects. It is a key step for Brambles in establishing a specialist containers business that leverages its global logistics footprint.”

Based in Zürich, Switzerland, with service operations head-quartered in Bangkok, Thailand, Unitpool manages a pool of 33,000 unit load devices (ULDs) through approximately 300 airport locations and a network of 40 accredited repair centres. Its customers include more than 20 passenger and cargo airlines including Etihad, Air Asia X, Cargolux and AirBridge Cargo.

Unitpool’s executive leadership has committed to stay with Brambles. Mr Gorman said: “Unitpool is experiencing demand growth from existing customers of 10% per
annum and has a strong new sales pipeline because of its ability to help airlines improve efficiency by outsourcing essential but non-core activities.”

Unitpool CEO David Harman said: “Our team is thrilled about the growth opportunities that will come from combining our in-depth knowledge of airline ULD pooling with Brambles’ global expertise and footprint.”

The transaction has no impact on Brambles’ earnings guidance for the 2011 financial year.

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