Autogrill agrees to sell Spanish ops to Areas, shares jump

FILE PHOTO: The logo of a bridge restaurant of Italy's Autogrill is seen on the motorway near Fiorenzuola D'arda, Italy, February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

ROME (Reuters) - Italian travel caterer group Autogrill said on Tuesday it had reached an agreement for the sale of its Spanish operations to Barcelona-based restaurant group Areas.

“The transaction is part of the process of capital allocation optimization and refocusing of the contract portfolio on the geographical areas and channels with higher growth potential and expected profitability,” Autogrill, indirectly controlled by Italy’s Benetton family, said in a statement.

The Spanish operations include 60 point of sales, mainly located on motorways, which generated revenue of around 80 million euros ($95.06 million) in 2019, it added.

The companies agreed on an enterprise value for the deal, whose closing is subject to the necessary approvals by the Spanish antitrust watchdog, of 12 million euros.

Autogrill shares rose more than 9% after news of the deal were first broken by Spanish website El Confidencial.

($1 = 0.8416 euros)

Reporting by Francesca Piscioneri in Rome and Elisa Anzolin in Milan, additional reporting by Jose Elias Rodriguez in Madrid, editing by Agnieszka Flak