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SSP Group acquires Airport Retail Enterprises

SSP Group plc has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of Airport Retail Enterprises Pty Ltd (“ARE”) in Australia.

Founded in 1971, ARE is a leading, privately-owned airport F&B operator, with annualised sales in the region of AUS$200m (c. £100m) from 62 outlets, principally bars, casual dining restaurants and cafes, across seven Australian airports: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Canberra, Townsville and
Mount Isa.

ARE has a diverse portfolio of local, national, international and chef-inspired brands, the majority of which are in-house brands.

Patrick Coveney, CEO of SSP Group, said: “We are very pleased to have signed an agreement to acquire a high quality and highly complementary business in Australia.

“The acquisition will increase our portfolio of brands and concepts, give us entry into new prime air locations, enhance our position as a leading airport F&B operator in the country and create significant value for shareholders.

“The Asia Pacific region offers a significant opportunity to build returns and drive growth for the Group.

“Our enlarged business in Australia will have the opportunity to become a regional centre of excellence.

“We look forward to welcoming c. 1,500 colleagues from the ARE business to our team.”

Peter Butts, Founder of ARE, added: “Since 1971, Airport Retail Enterprises (“ARE”) has been focused on creating exceptional dining experiences for our customers and, in doing so, has grown to become a leading operator of airport F&B outlets in Australia.

“This transaction is a major milestone for ARE and we are delighted that it will be joining the SSP Group, one of the leading F&B operators in travel locations globally.

“The acquisition will allow the combined business to offer an even wider range of high-quality F&B selections and maintain an unwavering commitment to excellence in the airport environment.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our team members who have played such an integral role in growing ARE to the business it is today.”

The acquisition is expected to complete by the end of June, subject to receipt of all necessary approvals including regulatory clearance and client consents.

image credit: Airport Retail Enterprises