One of the world’s largest aviation services businesses is being created with the $202 million takeover BBA Aviation-owned airline fuel and ground handler ASIG by John Menzies.

The acquisition will strengthen the Menzies Aviation service offering at key gateways such as Heathrow, San Francisco, Denver and Los Angeles.

The deal will double the size of Menzies Aviation’s existing North American operations.

ASIG operates at eight of the ten busiest airports in the US, four of the five busiest Canadian airports, and eight of the ten busiest UK airports.

The company employs 8,000 people providing ground, fuel and airport facility services to airlines, airports, oil companies and industry partners in the commercial aviation sector.

The takeover also deepens Menzies Aviation’s position with key customers, including Delta Air Lines, United and International Airlines Group, through provision of more services in more locations.

BBA Aviation Group chief executive, Simon Pryce, said: “As part of our continuing emphasis on delivering long-term, sustainable value for shareholders, after receiving a number of approaches and going through a detailed process, we are pleased to announce the sale of ASIG to Menzies to create a focused and larger, broad based global supplier of commercial aviation services.

“This disposal further enhances BBA Aviation’s focus as a high quality, strongly cash generative market leader in the provision of business and general aviation and legacy support services.”

Menzies chairman, Dermot Smurfit, said: “This is a transformational deal for Menzies and will significantly increase Menzies Aviation’s footprint globally while also adding fuelling to our operations.

“The transaction will create one of the largest aviation services businesses in the world, doubling the size of our North American operations, while strengthening Menzies Aviation’s service offering at major international gateways such as London Heathrow, San Francisco, Denver and Los Angeles.

“The board is confident of realising significant cost synergies following the acquisition and it is expected to deliver material enhancement in underlying earnings per share in its first full financial year of ownership.”