SSP, which owns 300 brands including Upper Crust and Caffe Ritazza, and also runs
The company, which does two-thirds of its business overseas, is led by
The company recently revealed a sales rise of 9% in the Asian and Pacific region in the six months to March, despite a big fall in its business in
Revenue in the US rose more than 25% as SSP opened more upmarket bespoke eateries based on local restaurants, such as Shake Shack at JFK in
Margins also improved as SSP closed its headquarters in Weybridge and combined it with an existing office in
Swann, who is famously reserved, joined SSP last autumn. Yesterday she said: "I was at a public company for 10 years - it will be like coming home. I don't particularly like being in the public eye, but I'm fine about public markets."
Swann is likely to be an attraction to investors who benefited from her skills in squeezing years of rising profits from
But analysts said investors would be wary of another debt-laden, private equity-backed business arriving on a
"People might be a bit nervous about the elevated level of debt," said Tony Shiret, an analyst at Espirito Santo, "But I would expect Swann to make some money for investors over the long term."
Several private equity-backed companies have endured a rough ride on the stock market in the past few months
Shares in KKR's
Swann said investors should look beyond the ups and downs of the stock market and see that SSP had plenty of room to expand. Air and rail passenger numbers were expected to rise by 4.4% and 2.6% a year over the next 20 years.
"We have got an opportunity to add space and we have got a diversified set of geographies with many opportunities to grow," she said.
Although SSP is not exposed to the fashionable, fast-growing online retail or discount sectors, where IPOs such as
The Swedish private equity firm EQT, which bought SSP from Compass in 2006 in a pounds 1.3bn deal, owns 94% of the company and is expected to stay a majority shareholder. The management team, including Swann, own a stake worth less than 5%. Exactly how much money either group plans to cash out will not be clear until SSP's prospectus is published next week.
One of SSP's brands, Upper Crust, at Euston station,
Most Popular Stories
- Americans Still Pessimistic Despite Economic Growth
- GE Capital and Petters-Related Fund in Legal Battle
- Combating Online Abuse Not Easy for Gamers
- Feds Want Nuclear Waste Train, but Nowhere to Go
- California Conservation Conundrum: Water Use Varies Greatly Across State
- Even With Surly 2014 Electorate, It's 'Still an Incumbent's World'
- Detroit Raced Toward this Week's Bankruptcy Trial
- New Hershey's Logo Revealed
- California Passes First US Statewide Bag Ban
- Obama on Labor Day: Don't Take Rights for Granted