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Eurest Australia Launched by Compass Group PLC and Accor, To Focus on Catering Services
Sydney, Australia - Tuesday 27 April 1999: The world's largest food services group, Compass Group PLC, has signed a joint-venture agreement with the world's largest hotel and tourism services company, Accor, to launch a commercial catering operation in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

The joint venture company, Eurest Australia, will compete for business in the provision of catering services to large-scale venues, including sporting and entertainment centres, educational, health and other public institutions, airports, corporate offices and factories, defence force bases and mining sites.

The Compass Group ranks in the top 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, and is already a leader in catering operations in the UK, Continental Europe and the USA, with a current annual turnover in excess of FF50 billion (A$12.5 billion) and a workforce of some 185,000. The Compass Group comprises a variety of locally-based companies providing catering in their respective markets. 

Accor is the largest hotel operator in the world with over 2,700 hotels in every category, with its major brands including Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis. In Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, Accor operates some 70 hotels.  In addition, the company is a leader in business travel agencies, car rental, service vouchers and other tourism-related services. 

Compass has extensive experience in providing services to some of the world's major event venues including Twickenham, Wembley, Flushing Meadow and Stade de France. They are also leaders in remote area catering, defence support services, company employee catering, healthcare and education catering services.

Under the joint venture agreement between Accor and Compass, former Managing Director of Accor Asia Pacific, Raymond Capdevila, has been appointed Managing Director of Eurest Australia.

Commenting on the launch of Eurest Australia, Mr Capdevila said that demand for contract catering was growing rapidly in Australia and New Zealand as private and public organisations increasingly outsource their catering requirements

"We intend to build on the annual turnover of over A$200 million that Eurest Australia has already achieved through its purchase of two well-established local companies," said Mr Capdevila. 

"The catering market in Australia and New Zealand is comparable to the state of the hotel market earlier this decade - that is, highly conducive to the entry of a new global player. It is Compass' intention, through the establishment of Eurest Australia, to make the most of this opportunity and gain a place in this region comensurate with its market leadership
elsewhere in the world. The joint venture with Accor Asia Pacific will undoubtedly enhance these opportunities. 

"We are currently negotiating for a number of new contracts, and we will be looking to expand further in Australia and New Zealand."

Accor Asia Pacific Chairman, David Baffsky, said that commercial catering had been an integral part of Accor's business for over two decades, with the new venture allowing considerable synergies with the company's existing hotel operations in the region.

"Both Accor and Compass see this venture has a highly strategic move, with the current business climate and next year's staging of the Olympics in Sydney making it an ideal time for the launch of Eurest Australia," said Mr Baffsky.

"Accor's involvement will enable Eurest to take advantage of the group's purchasing power and complementary services. Accor already has a distinguished record in catering and provision of food services, and in Australia we have considerable experience in the sector via our management of the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney Showboats and the Summit Restaurant."

Eurest Australia:
Raymond Capdevila 
(61-2) 9371 7766 
fax: (61-2) 9371 7682
Accor Asia Pacific: 
Peter Hook (61-2) 9367 0860 
fax: (61-2) 9367 0897
Also See: Phoenix's Bank One Ballpark Stadium Premier Foodservice Operation / April 1998 

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