News Column

SSP chief Swann in hint at a stock market listing

June 10, 2014

Daily Mail, London



June 10--UPPER Crust and Caffe Ritazza owner SSP gave the biggest indication yet that the company could join the rush of retailers seeking to float on the London Stock Exchange.

Chief executive Kate Swann, who used to run WH Smith, told the Daily Mail that she had been instructed not to speak about whether the firm's private equity backers, who have owned SSP for eight years, were looking at listing on a public market.

Swann, who posted strong first-half figures for the group, said: 'There has been loads of speculation about SSP and I have been told not to comment about whether they will float it.'

When asked if there had been a conversation about how Scandinavia's largest buyout group EQT Partners, which is backed by the billionaire Wallenberg family, might exit, Swann said she could not comment.

The firm, which manages restaurants and shops at airports and stations around the world said operating profit rose 12.6pc to pounds sterling 54m on sales of pounds sterling 865.8m.

SSP also manages restaurants for third parties such as Burger King and M&S Simply Food, as well as its own brands.

The group recently beefed up the boardroom with some heavy weight non-executive directors, and also appointed former M&S finance director Ian Dyson to the board.

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(c)2014 Daily Mail (London, )

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Source: Daily Mail (London, England)


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