01 Jul 19 - Press release

Areas starts a new stage with PAI Partners to boost its successful strategic plan

• PAI Partners becomes the new owner of Areas after acquiring the Elior Group’s concession business
• Areas, the third world leader in the Food & Beverage and Travel Retail markets, receives from its new owner the total support to the current management team to enhance its growth plan
• Areas in the United States will continue to focus on growth and operational excellence


As of July 1, Areas will once again act as an autonomous company. This occurs after the closing of the operation through which PAI Partners has acquired the F&B and Travel Retail business of Elior Group, fully integrated into the company since 2015. The transaction between Elior Group and PAI Partners has been signed this week after the approval of the regulatory authorities.

Areas is one of the world leaders in the Food & Beverage and Travel Retail markets with revenues of 1,832 million euros at the close of the 2017-2018 financial year. The company receives 340 million customers each year in its 2,100 restaurants and stores in 12 countries in Europe and America. The current magnitude of the company is the result of the successful deployment of its strategic plan in the last 10 years that has allowed it to exponentially increase its size and capacity to generate business. With a unique model based on an attractive and quality catering and retail offer, driven through innovation to create new concepts that match the tastes of travellers, Areas has become the third global operator in a sector that moves more than 25,000 million euros.

Areas has a workforce of 23,000 employees, its restaurants and stores are present in 91 airports, 84 stations and 227 service areas in Europe, US and Latin America. The company, founded in Barcelona in 1968, is the leader in the markets of Spain, France and Portugal and occupies the third position in Italy and US, this last one a market of great growth for the company in the recent years. Its turnover comes from 46% of airports, 32% of motoroways, while train stations and other markets contribute to the rest of their income.

PAI Partners, the new owner of Areas, is a leading European private equity firm. PAI is characterised by its industrial approach to ownership combined with its sector-based organization.

The fund provides the companies they own with the financial and strategic support necessary to continue its development and improve the creation of strategic value. The firm is specialized in the development through investment of industrial and commercial companies, concretely in the sectors of distribution, services, consumer goods,  healthcare and industry. 

Fabrice Fouletier, partner at PAI Partners, has commented that “Areas is an exceptionally strong platform in the attractive travel catering market, with solid growth potential both in its current and new geographies”, and has affirmed that PAI Partners “is completely committed with the current management team to develop the Areas strategic plan”.

Oscar Vela, CEO of Areas, has pointed out that “a new era is opened, we face it with great enthusiasm and it should allow us to continue the expansion of our successful business plan”. Vela has added that “PAI Partners has expressed its will to promote the growth of the company with the aim of leading a global market with great potential for growth”.

The Areas business in United States

Areas in the United States, a leading provider of food & beverage and retail services in the travel industry, operates +145 restaurants and retail stores serving over 25 million guests annually. We offer a diverse portfolio of local brands, nationally recognized chains, and elevated concepts. We are in 11 airports and 9 travel plazas including the top 3 busiest airports in the US – Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, O’Hare Airport, and Los Angeles International Airport.