Source - Alliance News

SSP Group PLC on Thursday said it has increased its footprint in North America and the Middle East by acquiring ECG Ventures Ltd in Canada and signing a new deal with Jeddah Airport in Saudi Arabia.

The London-based operator of travel food and beverage outlets said the ECG deal will see it take over the leases of three units at Calgary Airport and two units at Edmonton Airport.

The five new restaurant and bars are ’The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck’, ’Bistro on the Bow’, two units of ’Belgian Beer Cafe’ and ’The Canadian Brewhouse’, which SSP says will complement its existing business at both airports.

No financial details were disclosed.

SSP said this is the second acquisition that SSP has completed in North America in the past 12 months, following the acquisition of the Midfield Concession business, with the final airport transferring in November.

SSP also said it signed a new contract with Jeddah Airport to operate three food and beverage packages, representing a total of 26 units, for an initial five-to-seven-year period.

It said this will include the Saudi launch of ’Jamie Oliver Kitchen’, ’Pizza Express’ and the London-based gelato chains ’Snowflake’ and ’Crepeaffaire’. This is alongside Jeddah-based ’Social Kitchen’ and ’Social Bakery’, alongside ’Cafe Bateel’ and ’Falafel & Friends’.

SSP’s own travel brands include ’Jaipur’, ’Soul + Grain’, ’Negroni’, ’Ritazza’ and ’Camden food co’, among others.

‘Both the acquisition of ECG in Canada and the significant contract win at Jeddah are excellent examples of our business development strategy in action,’ said SSP Chief Executive Officer Patrick Coveney.

‘We are clear that a combination of investing in organic growth and carrying out selective infill [mergers & acquisitions] will create sustainable long-term value and returns, and North America and the Middle East are important areas of focus for expansion.’

Shares in SSP were up 4.8% to 237.00 pence each in London on Thursday morning.

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