Transport & logistics
Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, TCR is Europe’s largest independent asset manager of airport ground support equipment (“GSE”) and operates at more than 180 airports.
Since inception, TCR has defined the market for leased GSE, providing high quality assets and a full service leasing, maintenance and fleet management offering to its clients, which are predominantly independent ground handling companies, airlines and airports. This enables GSE operators to concentrate on their core business of ground handling. The GSE that TCR provides is critical infrastructure, without which some of Europe’s busiest airports could not operate.
In 2019, TCR acquired Aerolima, another lessor of GSE in France. The transaction added approximately 2,000 pieces of equipment, 20 airports and 12 workshops to TCR’s existing business.
Over the last 12 months, TCR’s activity increased significantly, materially surpassing pre-Covid levels. This outperformance reflects a sustained rebound of air traffic as well as an increased post-pandemic demand for full-rental GSE solutions globally: TCR added over 35 airports in 2022 and its off-lease rate has reverted to early 2019 levels.
Last November, following a bilateral process, TCR completed the acquisition of Adaptalift, a provider of GSE and associated maintenance services to the aviation industry across Australia, adding incremental EBITDA at an attractive valuation with strong expected synergies.
In parallel, TCR has signed important new contracts with flagship customers, which may lead to further sale-and-lease-back opportunities.
To spport this strong growth, TCR successfully completed the refinancing of its existing RCF in January, raising €225 million of new debt facilities.
TCR fits with the Company’s strategy of investing in companies with good asset backing, strong market positions and barriers to entry, yet with operational levers to achieve attractive returns for shareholders through active asset management:
- GSE is a scarce resource that is critical to the functioning of an airport; through first mover advantage, TCR has benefited from securing the largest independent GSE fleet in Europe. TCR has access to maintenance workshops in prime locations at airports, many of which are located airside. This means that a high quality maintenance and asset management service can be provided, resulting in high availability of TCR’s fleet.
- TCR is able to offer full-service rentals on a pan-European basis. This creates competitive advantages against competitors, which tend to offer either dry leases or only repair and maintenance services. TCR’s network means it can offer pan-European solutions at multiple locations, matching the footprints of its customers.
- Outsourcing ownership of GSE equipment makes economic sense for independent ground handlers, as it allows them to manage the mismatch between short-term handling contracts and the typically 10-15 year useful life of equipment.
- TCR’s rental contracts are aligned with the ground handlers’ contracts with the airlines and are typically 3-5 years in duration. TCR has experienced a high level of contract renewal.
- The business has a diversified portfolio and is present at over 180 airports across 18 countries with a diverse contract and customer base meaning the revenues of the business are not materially reliant on a single client or geography.
- The investment will provide exposure to the long-term growth in the aviation market, which is fundamentally GDP driven, yet it is expected to be insulated from short-term shocks to demand due to its exposure to aircraft movements rather than passenger numbers.
TCR has developed a sustainability strategy that aims to reduce the business' impact on the environment through supporting airports, airlines and handlers in reducing their GHG emissions. TCR encourages its customers to use greener equipment, and uses smart technology to enable customers to require less equipment. TCR is also a global business with a workforce comprising over 56 nationalities and speaking over 48 languages. The business supports inclusion through a number of initiatives such as free English lessons where required.Key facts>180 airports Operates at over 180 airports>1,200 employeesc.35,000 ground support equipment assets