14-Oct-2010 10:08 AM

Gategroup interested in food units of carriers in Asia and Middle East

Gategroup Holding CEO Guy Dubois stated the company is interested in acquiring the food units of carriers including Japan Airlines, Qantas and Cathay Pacific if they sell their food operations to reduce costs and take non-cash generative assets off their balance sheets (Bloomberg, 13-Oct-2010). Mr Dubois added that the company would use a CHF200 million (USD209 million) capital increase to fund bids for airline kitchens in Asia and the Middle East, where as much as 90% of catering is in-house, compared with about 50% in Europe. While JAL plans to sell its catering unit, Qantas said its catering unit is an integral part of its business, while Cathay stated it has "no intention of disposing of our interest in Cathay Pacific Catering Services which is a strategic component of our aviation business". Mr Dubois added that Gategroup may also pursue opportunities in Singapore.

Gategroup Holding: “It’s a logical step that the suppliers will consolidate and grow together with the airlines, and Gategroup plans to be a player in this game. It’s a large market, with the biggest opportunities in the Asia Pacific. And we have one global, ‘galactic’ competitor in Lufthansa ... These airlines [Qantas, JAL, Cathay], still have their own kitchens and I expect that over time many of them will outsource,” Guy Dubois, CEO. Source: Bloomberg, 13-Oct-2010.

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