John Bean Technologies [NYSE:JBT] is exploring a sale of its airport services and equipment business, AeroTech, said three sources familiar with the matter.
Morgan Stanley is advising the Chicago-based company, which has distributed books on the unit to prospective buyers of the segment, said two of the sources.
The AeroTech segment accounted for around 30% of JBT’s USD 1.92bn in sales last year with the remainder coming from the company’s larger FoodTech unit that develops food processing machines. AeroTech makes equipment like jet bridges for boarding airplanes and tow tractors.
The company has been pursuing a restructuring program to improve efficiencies and better leverage the company’s resources, according to JBT’s 2018 annual report
The cost cutting comes as JBT’s stock has jumped 55% this year to just under USD 110 per share on Tuesday. On its 2Q19 earnings call from July, JBT CEO Tom Giacomini said the company’s investments and M&A activity have aligned JBT with key trends in the food industry, such as growing demand for production automation and clean label.
Morgan Stanley declined to comment. John Bean Technologies did not return a request for comment.
by Richard Tekneci and Sam Weisberg in New York and Claudia Montoto in Chicago