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EQT to acquire Select Service Partner from Compass Group

11 Apr 2006

EQT Partners, through its EQT IV fund, has agreed to acquire Select Service Partner (excluding its UK motorways business, Moto), and Compass's US travel concessions business Creative Host Services (together: SSP) from UK-based food service company Compass Group. The Moto business is sold to a consortium led by Macquarie Bank. Both buyers paid a combined £1.82bn for SSP, according to various reports.

SSP operates catering and retail units in over 600 sites, primarily airports and railway stations, across 26 countries. Its in-house brands include Caffe Ritazza, Upper Crust and Harry Ramsden. In the financial year ended September 2005, the company generated revenues of £1,077m. Compass acquired SSP in 1993.

Jan Stahlberg, senior partner of EQT Partners, said, ‘We are delighted to be the new owner of SSP. SSP has a strong management team and it operates in an attractive market, with increasing levels of passenger growth globally, in both air and rail.

‘The company fits with EQT’s strategy to invest in companies of high quality and with substantial growth and development potential. We at EQT believe that we are well suited to assist SSP realise its full potential,’ Stahlberg continued.

EQT is a group of private equity funds that manages approximately €6bn in equity in eight funds. Its offices are located in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Frankfurt and Munich.

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