Travel retail giant Hudson Group has agreed to buy a controlling stake in St. Louis’ OHM Concession Group.
OHM operates restaurants in 13 airports across the U.S., including St. Louis. It recently won contracts in Salt Lake City and Indianapolis.
Hudson Group is based in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and operates about 50 quick service and café units across the U.S. and Canada. The sale adds about 60 additional units, and brings Hudson into airports in new markets, including Albany, New York, and Pensacola, Florida.
Just three weeks before entering into the agreement with OHM, Hudson agreed to acquire 34 airport stores from retailer Brookstone and become its exclusive airport retailer.
Hudson also operates more than 1,000 duty-paid and duty-free stores in 89 locations, including airports, hotels and tourist destinations.
“This acquisition is a pivotal step in accelerating Hudson’s growth strategy within the $6 billion North American food & beverage airport concessions market,” Hudson Group CEO Roger Fordyce said in a statement. “It expands our existing stake and adds new capabilities, including full-service, fast casual, sports restaurants and fine dining locations to our portfolio, ultimately bringing unmatched offerings to suit all types of travelers’ needs.”
OHM was founded in 1998 and generated $62 million in revenue last year.
“In 2013, I was fortunate to partner with the Hudson team on the retail program at my home airport, St. Louis Lambert International,” OHM President and CEO Milan Patel said in a statement. “On behalf of over 900 OHM associates, we look forward to an exciting and bright future with the Hudson team.”
OHM is privately held by Patel, who will stay on as a partner to manage the integration.
It has grown markedly: from 10 food and beverage locations in 2013 to 60 at the end of 2018.
The companies expect the transaction will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019 or the first quarter of 2020.