EQT to acquire Select Service Partner from Compass

The EQT IV fund (“EQT”) is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with Compass Group PLC (“Compass”) to acquire Select Service Partner (excluding its UK motorways business, “Moto”), and Compass’ US travel concessions business Creative Host Services (“CHS”), (together, “SSP”).

Formed in 1961 as SAS Catering, a division of SAS Airline Group, SSP was acquired by UK-based Compass in 1993. SSP operates catering and retail units in over 600 sites, primarily airports and railway stations, across 26 countries. The company is the leading food and beverage travel concession catering operator in Europe with market leading positions in the UK, Nordic region, France and Germany, and has a strong position in the US. SSP comprises well-known in-house brands such as Caffe Ritazza, Upper Crust, Whistlestop, Harry Ramsden and a number of internationally recognised franchised brands. In the financial year ended September 2005, SSP generated revenues of £1,077m.

EQT, with a strong track record of fostering growth and value creation in the 41 companies that it has invested in over the last 11 years, intends to support SSP’s future growth and expansion plans.

Jan Ståhlberg, 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”.

The Moto business is sold to a consortium led by Macquarie Bank. EQT and the Macquarie consortium will work closely together to facilitate the separation of the Moto business from SSP.

The acquisition is subject to approval from relevant competition authorities and approval of Compass shareholders.

Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein acted as financial adviser to EQT in this transaction.

Contact:
Johan Hähnel, Director Communications & PR,
+46 70 605 6334, johan.hahnel@eqt.se

Jan Ståhlberg, Senior Partner,
+46 8 506 553 07,  jan.stahlberg@eqt.se