Menzies confirms Wilson as CEO amid M&A talk

UPDATE 2 — Edinburgh-based John Menzies plc, the global airport services firm, said on Thursday that following a full search process, interim CEO Giles Wilson has been confirmed as chief executive officer with immediate effect.

Wilson was appointed chief financial officer of Menzies in June 2016 and assumed the position of interim CEO on March 12, 2019. 

“Having joined the group in 2011, Giles has held a variety of senior roles, including finance director of Menzies Aviation and senior vice-president of the group’s African, Middle East and Indian Operations,” said Menzies.

“Giles brings great financial acumen and a deep knowledge of the aviation services market to this role.”

Menzies’ main business is now Menzies Aviation, a global provider of passenger, ramp and cargo services. 

Menzies Aviation operates at more than 200 airports in 36 countries and employs about 32,000 people.

Last month, Menzies appointed private equity fund manager Christian Kappelhoff-Wulff to its board and formed two new committees to consider strategic options for the company, including M&A deals.

Kappelhoff-Wulff is the founder and chief executive officer of Lakestreet Capital Partners AG, an investment firm based in Zug, Switzerland. 

Lakestreet holds a 6.4% stake in Menzies, making it one of the firm’s biggest shareholders.

In March, Menzies reported 2018 revenue of £1.29 billion, up from £1.27 billion in 2017, and pre-tax profit of £21.6 million, up from £9.9 million.

John Menzies chairman Dermot Smurfit said: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Giles Wilson as our CEO.

“Giles provides excellent continuity whilst bringing great energy and enthusiasm to the role.

“He has strong relationships with our shareholding base, a sound understanding of our business and is already tackling the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

“The board are confident that Giles will provide strong leadership as we continue our drive to sustainably grow our business in the aviation services market.”

Wilson said: “I am very proud to be appointed CEO of John Menzies plc at what I believe to be a very exciting time in our evolution.

“We have a strong team in place and I look forward to working with them as we drive further efficiencies from the business, pursue sustainable organic growth, deliver excellent service to our customers and increase shareholder value.”