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TIACA ACF: ECS acquires Italian firm, says Brazil is next

By control on October 5, 2012

Two months ago, ECS acquired Italian GSA ATC and its data processing offshoot ADP in part of the rapidly growing company's two-pronged expansion strategy, which is driven by acquisition but also focuses on organic growth. At the TIACA Air Cargo Forum, ECS CEO Bertrand Schmoll also let it slip that the company may be acquiring a GSA in Brazil in the near future.

"It could be an acquisition," Schmoll exclusively told Air Cargo World about the company's growth plans in Brazil. ECS currently doesn't have much of a footprint in South America, so they are eager to move into the region to take advantage of the growth it will offer.

"The idea is for a development that will happen quite quickly," said Adrien Thominet, ECS' chief operating officer.

Organically, ECS is focused on opening new offices in Asia, especially in China but also in Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. Schmoll allowed that the company might still pursue an acquisition in Asia, but that growth will most likely stem from opening new company offices.

“The market is now more open for GSAs in Asia, especially in China,” Schmoll told Air Cargo World.

Sauro Martinelli, the head of ATC and ADP, is now also the senior vice president, commercial, at ECS. He explained that getting a deal done with ECS was a long process that started in 2005. He was hesitant, at first, to give up control of ATC and ADP because the companies were founded by his father. But Martinelli said that, over time, he became convinced that joining the ECS brand was the best step forward.

"The know-how and the professionalism that our team had in the Italian market, now we can share it and put it in common with their know-how," Martinelli said. "Now we have really good tools to work on a larger scale."

Schmoll added that the long introductory period, which he characterized as more of a developing partnership, was key to the deal.

“To have success in a marriage, it’s better to know your future wife," he said. "Sometimes arranged weddings are also good, but in our case, we preferred to know each other and took time to know each other. “

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