gategroup has exercised its call option with India Hospitality Corporation (IHC) to acquire the remaining 26 percent of the Indian airline catering company Skygourmet. “We appreciate IHC’s support during the past 15 months to help familiarise us with the Indian business environment, and we are eager to move forward in developing this important asset,” said Andrew Gibson, CEO, gategroup.
Exercising this call option in 2012 will have no impact on the company’s income statement since a liability had previously been recognised. The company is increasing its stake to provide maximum flexibility to run the business in India as a fully owned and integrated business of gategroup. Gate Gourmet, a subsidiary of gategroup had entered a joint venture agreement with IHC in November 2010. Skygourmet operates airline catering activities in Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune, while Gate Gourmet operates an airline catering facility in Goa. Further expansion of the network is under development, stated the company’s release.
Additionally, Skygourmet and Travel Food Services (TFS), an Indian provider of travel food and beverages, are in the midst of finalising a strategic partnership to manage newly developing retail-on-board services for India-based airlines. “TFS brings the local experience and expertise to augment what we bring from a global platform” said Herman Anbeek, Chief Commercial Officer, gategroup.