Travel Food Company Seeks to Raise $849 Million in London I.P.O. update courtesy of extracts from today’s NYT DealBook.

LONDON – The SSP Group, an operator of food and beverage locations at airports and train stations, said on Tuesday that it planned to raise as much as $849 million in an initial public offering in London.

SSP, formerly known as Select Service Partner, is the latest company backed by private equity to plan an I.P.O. amid a rush of offerings in London, with more than $9 billion raised so far this year, according to Thomson Reuters.

The company, whose brands include Caffè Ritazza and Upper Crust, was acquired by the Swedish private equity firm EQT Partners in 2006.

“An I.P.O. is the appropriate next step for a business of SSP’s caliber, size and international scale and we believe that we are well-placed for life as a listed company,” Kate Swann, the SSP chief executive and the former top executive at the retailer WH Smith.

SSP plans to raise about 500 million pounds, or about $849 million, in the I.P.O. and will use the proceeds to reduce its debt.

EQT, the company’s management and other investors will also have an opportunity to sell shares in the offering, which will be made to institutional investors.

SSP, which is based in London, was formed in 1961 as SAS Catering, a division of the airline group SAS.

The company operates 1,981 food and beverage outlets in airports, railway stations and other travel locations in 29 countries in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East and employs about 30,000 people worldwide. The company also operates an onboard catering service, Rail Gourmet.

The full article can be found at NYT DealBook.