In November 2005, we realized our investment in Aerocomidas, the leading operator of restaurants and bars in Mexican airports.
Formed in 1999 as a subsidiary of Advent portfolio company Aeroplazas, Aerocomidas initially focused on the development of food concessions at the Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara airports. European food-service group Elior purchased a controlling stake in the business later that year.
When Aerocomidas needed funding for a major expansion to develop food concessions in the Northern Mexico airports, Advent acquired the interests of Aeroplazas and another minority shareholder and injected new capital into the business. The transaction created a 50-50 joint venture with Elior subsidiary Áreas, which had extensive experience managing travel-related food concessions. What made the investment particularly attractive were Aerocomidas’ long-term concession contracts in leading Mexican airports and its significant growth potential, driven by the recovery of air travel and passenger traffic after 9/11.
Post investment, Aerocomidas opened new concessions across the country, improved retail formats at existing locations and diversified its revenue base by creating its own brands and jointly developing concepts with internationally renowned franchise operations. During our involvement, the company grew from a startup with only a handful of restaurants in two airports to a national operation with over 50 food-service locations in 10 airports across Mexico. In the same period, revenue more than tripled to 130 million pesos, while operating profit surged over 12-fold.
Seeking to bolster its presence in the Mexican travel retail sector, Áreas acquired our stake in Aerocomidas in late 2005.