TPG completes Gate Gourmet deal

The US buyout house has completed the acquisition of Gate Gourmet, the Swiss in-flight meals provider, after nine months of negotiations.

Texas Pacific Group’s lengthy negotiations over the acquisition of Gate Gourmet, the second largest in-flight meals provider, has finally come to an end following the announcement that the US private equity house has completed the acquisition of the Swiss company.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, although the net purchase price is estimated to be E668m. This is dramatically less than the $1.75bn price tag suggested by banking sources in March when Texas first signed a preliminary agreement to buy the group.

Debt is being provided by Credit Suisse First Boston and Salomon Smith Barney in the form of senior bank debt, mortgage debt, mezzanine and preferred private equity certificates and common equity.

Since collapsing under a mountain of debt late last year, Swiss Air had been looking to sell off three of its businesses, including Gate Gourmet. The business has over 200 airlines as customers, over 26,000 staff and has operations in 33 countries. Last year it had turnover of $1.8bn.

Commenting on the firm’s plans for the business going forward, a spokesman for Texas Pacific said: “Texas Pacific has no significant changes for the company planned. Management are doing a good job proving efficiency, gaining market share and generating cash in a tough environment.”

The deal is one of a number of buyouts transactions announced by group this year. Texas Pacific, together with Goldman Sachs and Bain Capital, most recently paid $1.5bn this month for Burger King, the global fast food chain.