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Gate Gourmet to acquire two Qantas flight kitchens

The deal will complement and build upon Gate Gourmet’s existing business in the Australian market.

The Australian company Gate Gourmet has agreed to acquire two flight kitchens owned by Qantas Catering Group for an undisclosed amount. Terms of the deal were not revealed.

Qantas Catering is operated by Q Catering, which operates in six Australian ports – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide and Perth.

The businesses involved in the transaction are Q Catering's Riverside facility in Sydney and its Cairns operation in Queensland, both of which are well equipped with room for expansion and offer a full suite of services. These include menu development, meal production, aircraft provisioning, post-arrival unloading and dishwashing and equipment warehousing. Cairns also offers cabin cleaning.

Herman Anbeek, senior vice-president and president of emerging markets at Gategroup, said:

This purchase will complement and build Gate Gourmet’s existing business in the important Australian market, where passenger traffic is growing at an estimated 4 to 5 per cent annually. In addition, the purchase would alleviate capacity constraints at Gate Gourmet’s existing Sydney catering unit.

Following the acquisition, which is expected to close in the next three months, annual revenue for the assets to be acquired is estimated to be approximately CHF50m.

Gategroup expects the acquisition to be accretive within an 18-to-24-month period.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and approvals, including clearance by competition authorities.

Photo: Getty Images
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David Cameron’s starter homes: poor policy, but good politics

David Cameron's electoral coalition of buy-to-let retirees and dual-earner couples remains intact: for now.

The only working age demographic to do better under the Coalition was dual-earner couples – without children. They were the main beneficiaries of the threshold raise – which may “take the poorest out of tax” in theory but in practice hands a sizeable tax cut to peope earning above average. They will reap the fruits of the government’s Help to Buy ISAs. And, not having children, they were insulated from cuts to child tax credits, reductions in public services, and the rising cost of childcare. (Childcare costs now mean a couple on average income, working full-time, find that the extra earnings from both remaining in work are wiped out by the costs of care)

And they were a vital part of the Conservatives’ electoral coalition. Voters who lived in new housing estates on the edges of seats like Amber Valley and throughout the Midlands overwhelmingly backed the Conservatives.

That’s the political backdrop to David Cameron’s announcement later today to change planning to unlock new housing units – what the government dubs “Starter Homes”. The government will redefine “affordable housing”  to up to £250,000 outside of London and £450,000 and under within it, while reducing the ability of councils to insist on certain types of buildings. He’ll describe it as part of the drive to make the next ten years “the turnaround decade”: years in which people will feel more in control of their lives, more affluent, and more successful.

The end result: a proliferation of one and two bedroom flats and homes, available to the highly-paid: and to that vital component of Cameron’s coalition: the dual-earner, childless couple, particularly in the Midlands, where the housing market is not yet in a state of crisis. (And it's not bad for that other pillar of the Conservative majority: well-heeled pensioners using buy-to-let as a pension plan.)

The policy may well be junk-rated but the politics has a triple A rating: along with affluent retirees, if the Conservatives can keep those dual-earner couples in the Tory column, they will remain in office for the forseeable future.

Just one problem, really: what happens if they decide they want room for kids? Cameron’s “turnaround decade” might end up in entirely the wrong sort of turnaround for Conservative prospects.

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.