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French group Elior eyes end of concession catering review in coming weeks

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PARIS (Reuters) – Elior, Europe’s third-largest catering group, said on Friday that the strategic review of its concessions catering arm known as ‘Areas’ should be completed in the coming weeks.

“The strategic review of the concessions catering business is under way and should reach its conclusion in the coming weeks,” CEO Philippe Guillemot told Elior’s annual shareholders meeting.

Guillemot reiterated on Friday that Elior had entered exclusive talks with European private equity firm PAI Partners about a potential sale of the concessions catering business, adding he would not make further comments on the matter.

Elior has cautioned that any indication on the result of its discussions with PAI Partners would be premature.

Reuters reported earlier in the week that PAI Partners had emerged as the frontrunner in an auction for the business.

The sale of Areas, which sources told Reuters could be worth 1-1.5 billion euros (1.3 billion pounds), is part of a broader plan to boost Elior’s growth.

It was disclosed at the shareholders meeting that if a sale of the concessions catering business materialised, Guillemot would get an exceptional compensation package, whose size would hinge on the price fetched by the transaction.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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