1. News
June 18, 2014

Catering firm SSP seeks to raise £500m through London listing

Catering firm SSP, whose brands include Upper Crust, Camden Food Co and Millie's Cookies, is seeking to raise £500m ($840m) through an initial public offering (IPO) on London Stock Exchange (LSE).

Catering firm SSP, whose brands include Upper Crust, Camden Food Co and Millie’s Cookies, is seeking to raise £500m ($840m) through an initial public offering (IPO) on London Stock Exchange (LSE).

The group intends to use the proceeds of its listing to reduce debts. The listing is expected to give the company an enterprise value of up to £2bn.

London company operates almost 2,000 outlets largely at airports and railway stations across 30 countries in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

SSP chief executive Swann told The Wall Street Journal that, "There is huge opportunity in both [air and rail]…we will enter new countries but that will be secondary to growing in the countries where we already exist because of such a big opportunity in places like the U.S. and China

SSP is owned by EQT, the Swedish buyout group that is backed by the Wallenberg family.

"An IPO is the appropriate next step for a business of SSP’s caliber, size and international scale and we believe that we are well-placed for life as a listed company," Swann added.

In the 12 months to September end, SSP reported revenues of £1.8bn and underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £153m, up about 10% on the previous year.

Swann said SSP’s Swedish owners, who hold 94% of the company, would remain majority investors after the IPO.

According to the SSP, favorable trends, including rising air and rail passenger numbers, increasing consumer spend, and ongoing investment in travel infrastructure around the world will aid the group.