Air France has entered into exclusive discussions with HNA Group for the sale of its in-flight catering unit Servair with a view to creating the world-class leader in inflight catering.
Following the takeover of gategroup by HNA on earlier this month, gategroup is now stepping into the transaction, acquiring control over Servair as of January 1st.
gategroup acquires 50 per cent minus one share in Servair for an enterprise value of €237 million.
The transaction will be solely financed by gategroup, initially through a bridge facility which will be replaced by a capital market transaction envisaged in the first half of 2017.
The addition of Servair to gategroup will create an unprecedented offering in the inflight catering business serving more than 300 airline customers in more than 200 facilities with 39,000 employees.
Servair will complement gategroup’s global network with a strong presence in France and Africa.
The acquisition supports gategroup’s Gateway 2020 strategy by allowing it to serve global clients in an unmatched number of locations, to strengthen its culinary excellence and retail on board offering, and to expand into fast-growing markets in Africa and Asia.
Xavier Rossinyol, chief executive, gategroup, commented: “We warmly welcome Servair and its employees into a partnership that will be highly beneficial for both sides.
“The new group will aim to take advantage of the best competences of both gategroup and Servair and at the same time to have the most global network worldwide to better serve our customer.
“We will operate as one group with global leadership. With this new step we will be able to further accelerate the strategy of efficiencies and growth.”