gategroup has revealed plans for an initial public offering on the Six Swiss Exchange.
The world’s largest provider of airline catering services in terms of revenues plans to go public before the middle of 2018.
Over the past two years, gategroup has focused its business activities on its core competencies of airline catering and retail on board, expanded its global footprint and increased both revenue and profit.
Proceeds from the offering will provide the company with enhanced flexibility to, among other things, continue delivering under the Gateway 2020 strategy and exploit future growth opportunities.
The current sole owner of gategroup, HNA Aviation Airline Catering, an HNA entity, intends to sell the majority of its holdings in gategroup and has indicated to the company its plan to remain a long-term anchor shareholder.
The news comes after HNA also revealed it would sell its stake in Park Hotels
The envisaged post-IPO free float, assuming the full exercise of the over-allotment option, is about 65 per cent of gategroup’s share capital.
Adam Tan, chief executive of HNA Group, said: “We are proud of the significant progress gategroup has made over the past two-and-a-half years.
“The company stands on a very solid foundation and is ready to continue and further accelerate its recent growth path.
“We believe the envisaged IPO will allow gategroup to bring new, innovative products and services to the market and to expand in new markets.
“As a strategic investor and anchor shareholder, HNA will continue to support gategroup with relevant industrial and market expertise, not only based on our experience in the airline industry but also given our global footprint.”
The offering is planned to consist of primary and secondary shares and a greenshoe of up to ten per cent of the base size of the transaction.
The primary offering is expected to result in proceeds for the company of approximately CHF350 million.
Xavier Rossinyol, chief executive of gategroup, said: “As the global leader in airline catering and food and beverages retail on board, gategroup and its management team are excited about the prospect of becoming a public company again.
“The planned IPO underpins the successful and consistent execution of our Gateway 2020 strategy thus far and allows us to accelerate ongoing investments in our future growth.
“HNA has been a strong supporter and enabler of this transformation.
“Our new board will provide their leading industry expertise and strong guidance to help us meet the continued high ambitions of the company.”
The proceeds from the primary offering are expected to be used for the acquisition of the remaining shares of Servair from Air France-KLM, the funding of pension plans and other corporate purposes.