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Texas Pacific interested in Gate Gourmet

The US private equity firm is reported to be bidding for Swissair Group's airline catering business.

Texas Pacific, the US private equity group, is reported to have signed a preliminary purchase agreement to buy Gate Gourmet, the catering operation owned by bankrupt Swiss airline Swissair.

Since collapsing under a mountain of debt late last year, Swissair Group has been looking to sell off three of its businesses. The Financial Times reports that besides Gate Gourmet, it is attempting to sell its airport retailing business, Nuance, as well as its regional, low cost airline operation Crossair.

Although no price for Gate Gourmet has been disclosed, and Texas Pacific is undertaking due diligence at present, sources suggest that the business could be worth as much as $1.75bn. The business has over 200 airlines as customers, over 26,000 staff and has operations in 33 countries. Last year it had a turnover of $1.8bn [SFr3.2bn].

It is expected a deal will be signed before June of this year.