SSP finalises acquisition of Airport Retail Enterprises’ Australian business

AUSTRALIA. SSP Group has completed its acquisition of the Australian business of Airport Retail Enterprises (ARE). The deal adds 62 outlets across seven airports to its food & beverage portfolio.

The ARE venues are located in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Canberra, Townsville and Mount Isa airports.

As a result of the acquisition, SSP now operates about 100 units across 11 of the largest 19 airports in the country.

ARE was founded by entrepreneur Peter Butts. It also has businesses in three UK airports but these are excluded from the deal and will continue to be led by the Butts family.

Butts said: “Since 1971, Airport Retail Enterprises has been focused on creating exceptional dining experiences for our customers and, in doing so, has grown to become a leading operator of airport F&B outlets in Australia.

“This transaction is a major milestone for ARE and we are delighted to be joining the SSP Group, one of the leading F&B operators in travel locations globally.

Pete’s Pies in Sydney Airport Terminal 2 is among the venues that will now be operated by SSP (Image: Airport Retail Enterprises)

“The acquisition will allow the combined business to offer an even wider range of high-quality F&B selections and maintain an unwavering commitment to excellence in the airport environment.”

He added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our team members who have played such an integral role in shaping ARE into the business it is today. I’ve loved every minute of building and watching ARE grow, and I know this sale is the right decision for the future of ARE, and for myself and my family.

“I believe SSP will take ARE on an exciting and prosperous journey in the years to come.”

SSP Group CEO Patrick Coveney said: “We’re pleased to have completed the acquisition of ARE, which enhances our presence in the high-growth Asia Pacific region. We have acquired a number of high-quality brands and concepts and gained entry into new prime air locations, which will give us significant opportunity to drive growth for the Group.

“We look forward to welcoming our new colleagues into the wider SSP team and further enhancing our position as a leading F&B operator in a key market.”  ‍

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