Catering group SSP, owner of the Caffe Ritazza and Upper Crust brands, today said it was seeking to raise about £500 million by floating on the London Stock Exchange.
The initial public offering (IPO) will mark a return to the City for chief executive Kate Swann, the former boss of newsagent and book retailer WH Smith.
SSP, which generated sales of more than £1.8 billion last year, also runs food outlets in airports and railway stations for the likes of Burger King and Starbucks. It has almost 2,000 sites in 29 countries and employs about 30,000 people.
The group’s private equity owner, EQT, is understood to be planning to sell a 25 per cent stake in the business, which wants to raise about £500m to reduce its debts.
Swann said: “An IPO is the appropriate next step for a business of SSP’s calibre, size and international scale and we believe that we are well-placed for life as a listed company.”