Press Releases

August 5, 2016

HMSHost to Acquire Leading Airport Retailer Stellar Partners, Inc.

BETHESDA, MD – HMSHost, a part of Autogrill Group, announced today that it is re-entering the airport retail business with an agreement to purchase the shares of leading travel venue retailer Stellar Partners, Inc. Stellar currently operates 38 convenience and specialty retail stores in ten airports in the U.S. and has annual revenues of $38 million. Stellar will become an independent subsidiary of HMSHost, and will remain headquartered in Tampa, FL, with Stellar President and CEO Susan Stackhouse and Senior Vice President and COO Ramon Bosquez continuing to lead the business.

“We are thrilled to be re-entering the airport retail business by bringing Stellar, considered the best small operator in the industry, into the HMSHost family,” said HMSHost President and CEO Steve Johnson. “The expertise Susan and Ramon bring will help us to develop our airport retail business, as well as enhance our existing retail stores in our motorway channel. I have known Susan and Ramon for many years, and very much look forward to working with them to grow Stellar in North American airports and position HMSHost to re-enter this $1.5 billion market.”

"We, at Stellar, are delighted to be joining the HMSHost family, a world leader in our industry," said Susan Stackhouse, President and CEO of Stellar Partners, Inc.  “I am personally honored that Host has recognized our value, is willing to invest in our future, and will allow the legacy of the Stellar brand to continue.  Steve and I have known each other for many years and it is our mutual respect that has brought our companies together. Host's resources and decades of experience will help Stellar grow and compete, while providing new opportunities for our 250 associates and our talented management team. We look forward to advancing this exciting new alliance to our airport partners and gaining their consent." 

Stellar, as a subsidiary of HMSHost, will continue to operate its 38 locations in such airports as Tampa International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, Miami International Airport, San Diego International Airport, and Washington Dulles International Airport. Stellar currently operates exclusive brands Stellar News and Stellar Books, as well as other popular brands.

Susan Stackhouse founded Stellar nearly 30 years ago when she purchased the single duty free store that she was previously managing at Tampa International Airport. Several years later she won a contract to open a news and gift store at Orlando International Airport, and grew the business from there, eventually creating an extensive portfolio of popular retail brands. Susan has put together a strong management team, and together they have been recognized in the industry with numerous awards, most recently as 2016 Best Overall Retailer and Best News & Gift Operator by Airport Revenue News.

This transaction is expected to be finalized in the Fall.

About HMSHost

Global restaurateur HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates in more than 120 airports around the globe, including 44 of the 50 busiest airports in North America. The Company has annual sales in excess of $2.8 billion and employs more than 37,000 sales associates worldwide. HMSHost is a part of Autogrill Group, the world’s leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move. With sales of around €4.3 billion in 2015, the Group operates in 31 countries and employs over 57,000 people. It manages approximately 4,200 stores in over 1,000 locations worldwide. Visit www.HMSHost.com for more information. We can also be found on Facebook at fb.com/HMSHost and on Twitter at @HMSHost.

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