ARE is a privately-owned airport F&B (food and beverage) operator, with annual sales of AUS$200m (around £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. It has a diverse portfolio of local, national, international and chef-inspired brands, the majority of them in-house brands.
SSP’s acquisition of ARE will provide an opportunity to build a stronger operational platform and deliver synergies across the combined business, the Group said. The acquisition of ARE is aligned to SSP’s strategy of accelerating growth in the Asia Pacific region and will see it strengthen its presence in Australia.
The transaction will see SSP add a number of high-quality assets and brands to its portfolio and will further rebalance the Group’s weighting towards the high-growth Asia Pacific Air channel. SSP has been present in Australia since 2007 and now operates 40 units across seven airports and one train station. ARE’s portfolio is highly complementary to SSP’s existing operations, and as a result of the acquisition, SSP will gain entry into four new airports (Canberra, Gold Coast, Townsville and Mount Isa). Post completion, SSP will operate around 100 units across 11 of the largest 19 airports in Australia.
The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of June, subject to receipt of all necessary approvals including regulatory clearance and client consents.
Commenting on the announcement, 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 some 1,500 colleagues from the ARE business to our team.”