Lagardère Travel Retail’s $330 Million Acquisition of Hojeij Branded Foods

Willkie advised Lagardère Travel Retail on the deal

Lagardère Travel Retail finalized the acquisition of 100% of Hojeij Branded Foods (HBF), which will be combined with Paradies Lagardère, the organisation’s North American division.

The completion of this transaction is subject to a number of customary conditions, including regulatory approval and third-party consents.

Combining the activities of Lagardère Travel Retail and HBF would create a USD 1.1 billion player, the third largest player in the North American Travel Retail and Foodservice industry. The price for the acquisition, payable in cash, is USD 330 million1.

Hojeij Branded Foods, a leading Foodservice operator in North America

Founded in 1996 by Wassim and Kathy Hojeij, HBF is one of the leading airport Foodservice operators in North America. Headquartered in Atlanta, it operates more than 124 bars and restaurants in 38 airports across the US and Canada.

HBF generated total sales of USD 225 million in 2017 and also benefits from a sound portfolio of awarded contracts (opened in 2018 and some to open in 2019). Its strong development over the past few years is attributable to its recognised operational excellence, the award of new concessions, and the successful acquisition in 2017 of Vino Volo, the largest airport wine bar chain in the US and Canada.

Its portfolio includes over 40 brand relationships and proprietary concepts ranging from full service to fast casual and quick serve – among which illy Caffè, LongHorn Steakhouse, ChickFil-A, P.F. Chang’s, Pei Wei and Cat Cora. HBF operates in several of the largest North American airports such as Atlanta, Dallas Ft. Worth, Detroit, Newark, Orlando, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco with an average contract maturity of over seven years. Vino Volo’s footprint includes operations in 33 airports in the US and Canada.

The Willkie team was led by partners Thomas Cerabino (Picture) and Adam Turteltaub, and included counsel Jacob Kleinman and associate Daniel Alster.

Involved fees earner: Thomas Cerabino – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Adam Turteltaub – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Jacob Kleinman – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Daniel Alster – Willkie Farr & Gallagher;

Law Firms: Willkie Farr & Gallagher;

Clients: Lagardère Travel Retail SAS;

Author: Ambrogio Visconti