Centerplate Acquisition Beefs Up Sodexo’s U.S. Presence

France’s Sodexo is buying Centerplate, its smaller American competitor, in a $675 million cash deal that will raise its profile in the sports and leisure markets in North America and the United Kingdom.

Sodexo, the world’s second-biggest foodservices company behind Compass Group, said the Centerplate deal would more than double current revenue in sports and leisure. Stamford, Conn.-based Centerplate had global revenues of nearly $1 billion for the past year, serving convention centers, stadiums and entertainment venues in North America, and the U.K. Formerly known as Volume Services America, it was originally a division of Canteen Corp., but since 2012 has been owned by private equity firm Olympus Partners.

Centerplate’s European operations will be integrated into Sodexo’s existing Sports & Leisure business, while Centerplate chief executive Chris Verros will lead the new combined business in the United States.

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