Lisbon court rules country’s leading ground handling company insolvent

  • Lusa
  • 5 August 2021

The Judicial Court of Lisbon ruled the company Groundforce insolvent, as a result of TAP's request.

The Judicial Court of the District of Lisbon on Wednesday ruled the ground handling company SPdH (Groundforce) insolvent, announced the state-owned airline TAP, its second-largest shareholder, which had made a request to this effect on May 10, according to a statement.

“The declaration of insolvency of SPdH – Serviços Portugueses de Handling, S.A. (Groundforce), handed down today by the Lisbon Commercial Courts of the Judicial Court of the District of Lisbon, is, for TAP, the transitional solution that best allows it to restore confidence in Groundforce’s management,” the airline said in the same statement.

“The company stresses that this Court decision does not in itself determine the automatic termination of the employment contracts of SPdH workers nor the suspension of contracts for the lasting provision of services by Groundforce, including ground handling services to TAP,” it said. “This decision results from the request made on 10 May, by TAP, S.A., as a creditor, with the aim of seeking to safeguard the viability and sustainability of the handling company, ensuring its operational activity at Portuguese airports.”

In a separate note, released via Portugal’s Securities Markets Commission (CMVM), TAP said that “should this prove feasible, the possibility of continuing the activity of SPdH can be assessed within the insolvency process, and the creditors can decide to approve a recovery plan for this company.”

“Without prejudice to the possibility of challenging the decision under the terms of the law, the insolvency process will be followed,” the note continued. “TAP, while continuing to look after its best interests, remains committed to working on solutions to ensure Groundforce’s operational response capacity and financial sustainability.”