EQT acquired SSP, the leading international operator of food and beverage concessions in travel locations, in a carve-out transaction from the Compass Group in 2006. The company operates more than 2,000 units in over 600 sites across 39 countries globally. The outlets are a mix of in-house brands such as Caffè Ritazza, Upper Crust and Bonne Journée and franchised brands such as Marks & Spencer, Starbucks and Burger King.
Over the EQT investment period, SSP expanded globally by entering the US market and establishing itself as a market leader in Asia. The company was successful in expanding its brand portfolio and building trusted long-term relationships with travel infrastructure operators.
SSP listed on 10 July 2014 on the London Stock Exchange as one of the most notable IPOs of the year, being awarded the PLC Award as best newly listed company in 2014. After a strong trading performance based on its compelling investment story, EQT was able to successfully sell its remaining shareholding in two subsequent sell-downs in January and May 2015.
Key events during EQT's ownership
- Successful carve-out from the Compass Group
- Revitalization of contract portfolio in air and rail segments in Europe
- International Expansion into North America and Asia
- Strengthening of management team with addition of CEO Kate Swann
- IPO on London Stock Exchange in July 2014