Compass Group

Compass Group
Compass Group plc
Type Public limited company
Traded as LSECPG
Industry Catering and Support Services
Founded 1941
Headquarters Chertsey, United Kingdom
Key people Sir Roy Gardner, Chairman
Richard Cousins, CEO
Revenue £14,468 million (2010)[1]
Operating income £989 million (2010)[1]
Net income £680 million (2010)[1]
Employees 386,000 (2009)[2]

Compass Group plc (LSECPG) is a global contract foodservice and support services company headquartered near London, United Kingdom. It is the largest contract foodservice company in the world and has operations in over 50 countries.[2][3] It serves around 4 billion meals a year in locations including offices and factories, schools, universities, hospitals, major sports and cultural venues, mining camps and offshore oil platforms.[2]

It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.



Compass Group has its origins in a company which was founded by Jack Bateman in 1941 as Factory Canteens Limited and which subsequently became known as Bateman Catering.[4] Bateman Catering and Midland Catering were acquired by Grand Metropolitan in 1967 and 1968 respectively.[5] A management buy-out from Grand Metropolitan followed in 1987 when the Compass Group was formed.[4] The Company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1988.[4]

In July 2000 the Company merged with Granada plc as part of a planned strategy to separate the media and catering interests of the latter. The two companies demerged in February 2001 to form Compass plc and Granada Media.[4]

In April 2006 Compass sold its roadside and travel catering businesses for a combined £1.82 billion.[4] The transaction included the sale of 43 Moto motorway service areas to Australia's Macquarie Bank for an estimated £600m.[4] Compass's Select Service Partners (SSP) travel concessions business was sold to companies controlled by private equity firm EQT Partners, which is owned by Sweden's Wallenbach family, for an estimated £1.2 billion.[4]

In 2009 the company made further acquisitions including Kimco and Lackmans in the USA, Plural in Germany and several McColls retail site leases in the UK.[1]


Compass Group owns the following brands and businesses: All Leisure Hospitality, Bon Appétit Management Company, Canteen Vending, Chartwells, Crothall, DeltaFM, Eurest, Eurest Support Services (ESS), Keith Prowse Corporate Hospitality, Levy Restaurants, Medirest, Morrison Management Specialists, Omega Security Services, Restaurant Associates and Scolarest.[6][7]

Compass Group operates several owned brands including Trattoria Pizza, Mondo Subs, (UK & USA) Origin Foods and Spice of Life (UK Hospitals) as well as operating Costa Coffee and Starbucks under licence.

Compass Group also operates several owned service systems including Steamplicity, TrimTrax and Core Concepts.

United Nations corruption scandal

In 2006, subsidiary Eurest Support Services won contracts to provide food to UN peacekeepers in Liberia, valued at $237 million.[8][9]

Alexander Yakovlev, the UN procurement officer, and Vladimir Kuznetsov, head of the UN Committee for Administrative and Budgetary Issues, were arrested and indicted after taking nearly $1 million in bribes from Compass.[8]

Competitors Es-Ko and Supreme Foodservice AG initiated lawsuits claiming violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, the Sherman Antitrust Act and New York State's Donnelly Act regulating free trade.[10][11] Federal investigations are underway and the case has been referred to the Serious Fraud Office (UK).[12]

After its own three-month internal investigation, Compass declared it had discovered "serious irregularities" in its UN business, but that these were limited to "only a few individuals" who were dismissed: Peter R. Harris, Andy Seiwert and Doug Kerr.[8] While Compass refused to make public its investigation,[8] CEO Michael Bailey stepped down in June 2006.



  1. ^ a b c d "Microsoft Word - Prelims Front half FINAL.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Who we are". Compass Group PLC. Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  3. ^ Meikle, James (30 July 2009). "Compass bans 69 endangered fish species from its restaurants". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Caterer Search
  5. ^ "Competition Commission Report 1983" (PDF). Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Compass Group brands[dead link]
  7. ^ Pphibbs (16 February 2011). "Compass Group Australia brands".,1282868&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d "UN Procurement Scandal: how far did the inside information travel?". Fox News. 10 February 2006.,2933,184495,00.html. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  9. ^ "The stolen secret documents" (PDF). Fox News. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  10. ^ Fox News. 
  11. ^ Fox News. 
  12. ^ "SFO to investigate Compass allegations". BBC News. 24 November 2005. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 

External links

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Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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