Gate Gourmet Acquires Majority Interest in Skygourmet
Gate Gourmet today announced a joint venture agreement with India Hospitality Corp. (IHC) to acquire a majority interest in Skygourmet, the leading airline caterer in India with a presence in seven major cities.
For gategroup, this transaction is a major move into the Asian market and a strategic breakthrough into the world's second-fastest growing economy where airline traffic recently has been increasing at an average of about 20 percent.
The transaction closed today and is not subject to any further regulatory or shareholder approvals. gategroup has acquired a 74 percent interest in Skygourmet and the consideration is a combination of cash and assumption of debt. IHC, the parent company of Skygourmet, will retain a 26 percent interest. Further details remain confidential.
“India's vibrant economy and its surging airline industry offer an excellent opportunity," said gategroup CEO Guy Dubois. "The Skygourmet acquisition fits perfectly with our growth strategy and with our objective to add to shareholder value by increasing gategroup's presence in emerging markets. We're confident this addition will grow our top line and improve profit margins," he said.
Skygourmet has a production capacity of more than 110,000 meals per day and is the only one with catering facilities at all six of India's major airports. It operates in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad and is in the process of constructing a new unit in Kolkata. In Pune, Skygourmet has a franchise arrangement.
Skygourmet has strong relations with the three major domestic airlines in India: Jet Airways and its subsidiary, JetLite; Kingfisher Airlines; and NACIL (Air India/Indian Airlines) serving them at most of their hubs and other domestic locations. Gate Gourmet already has a unit in the Indian resort town of Goa, which it acquired in 2007.