In August 2018, as a part of strategic development in North America region, Lagardère Travel Retail announced the signing of an agreement for the acquisition of 100% of Hojeij Branded Foods (HBF).This acquisition will be combined with Paradies Lagardère, the organization’s North American division. Combining the activities of Lagardère Travel Retail and Hojeij Branded Foods would create a US$ 1.1 Bn player, the third largest player in the North American Travel Retail and Foodservice industry. The price for the acquisition is US$ 330 Mn.
Wassim and Kathy Hojeij founded Hojeij Branded Foods, a leading Foodservice operator in North America in 1996. HBF is headquartered in Atlanta and operates more than 124 bars and restaurants in 38 airports across the US and Canada. HBF is one of the leading airport foodservice operators in North America. In 2017, HBF generated sales of UD$ 225 Mn. In 2017, HBF has successfully acquired 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 global market for travel retail was at US$ 63.59 Bn in 2017 growing with a CAGR of 8.1% during the forecast period from 2018 to 2026. This acquisition will help Lagardère Travel Retail to increase its footprint in North America region. In 2017, region contributed close to 13% of global travel retail market. The acquisition would round out Lagardère Travel Retail’s portfolio of concepts with strong complementary brands (combination of national and global brands as well as local concepts) and provide it with new long-term store locations in major airports.