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SSP Group strengthens US airport presence with Midfield acquisition

SSP says the acquisition is an important step in its strategy to accelerate growth in North America and will contribute an additional $100m in revenues

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, one of the US airports where SSP Group currently operates | Photo credit: SSP Group

SSP Group has strengthened its presence at US airports after acquiring Michigan-based food and beverage franchise operator, Midfields Midfield Concession Enterprise Inc. (MCE).
UK-based SSP said the deal will extend its presence at 30 of the largest airports in the US, including its first outlets at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County, Denver International, Philadelphia International and Cleveland Hopkins International.
The acquisition marks an ‘important step’ in SSP’s strategy to accelerate its growth in North America, and will add $100m revenues, the global travel concession operator added.
Founded in 2002 Midfield operates 36 franchised restaurants across 40 brands at seven US airports.
Alongside prominent fast-casual operators such as Wendy’s, chili’s and Papa Joe’s, Midfield also operates three Roasting Plant coffee shops and one Coffee Beanery store at Minneapolis’ St. Paul International Airport, Denver International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport respectively.
“We are delighted to be expanding our presence in North America with entry into four new airports and expansion in a further three through this acquisition. The Midfield business is a strong strategic fit for SSP and is highly complementary to our existing business given the makeup of the brand portfolio and its focus on enhancing the passenger experience. We look forward to welcoming the team and their clients to SSP,” said SSP Group CEO, Patrick Coveney.
SSP Group’s global travel concession business was decimated during the pandemic, when most countries closed borders and airports came to a standstill.
However, as travel restrictions have lifted across most destinations, in February 2023 SSP Group reported it was trading at 103% of pre-pandemic levels across its North America, Continental Europe and Rest of World divisions.
According to the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) US air passenger traffic reached 88% of 2019 levels in 2022, with US carriers recording 935 million passengers.
SSP Group manages around 2,800 food and beverage outlets at transport hubs across 36 countries. The UK-based operator is forecasting revenues of £2.9bn ($3.5bn) in 2023 and £3.3bn ($4bn) in 2024.
It expects overall sales for its UK business, which accounts for a quarter of SSP Group’s total revenues, to reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2023. 

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