Mentor Africa, an associate company of Meikles Limited, with interests in hospitality, catering, financial services and efficient energy sectors, all in South Africa.
The Newrest Group and Mentor Africa recently announced the formation of a new, jointly-owned inflight catering services group in South Africa.
A new company called dnataNewrest will be formed by Wings Inflight Services, jointly owned by dnata and Mentor Africa Limited, acquiring the inflight catering services business of Newrest First Catering in South Africa. The new entity, dnataNewrest RSA, will be owned and managed equally by dnata, Newrest and Mentor Africa. The transaction was implemented on the 15th March 2013.
Operationally, the new joint venture will be controlled by dnata and Newrest with their extensive worldwide experience in the inflight catering arena. The business will be led by Newrest First Catering’s current country manager, Olivier Laurac, who will serve as country manager of dnataNewrest and Wings current acting CEO, David Coyne, who will serve as CEO of dnataNewrest.
Both Wings and Newrest First Catering will be consolidated in the current, ultra-modern Wings premises in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Employees will transfer over to the new premises on their same terms and conditions of employment.
The new joint venture aims to provide a sustainable future for all key stakeholders and employees in the challenging South African market. The joint venture partners are convinced that their combined knowledge and expertise will enable them to even better respond to their customers’ individual needs. They will continue to offer choices ranging from fresh and authentic, world class cuisine to innovatively developed, sourced and packaged fresh, frozen or ambient products, competitively delivered by state-of-the-art provisioning and logistics services – all tailored to their airline customers’ specific requirements and needs at competitive cost.
dnata is one of the world’s largest air services providers, offering ground and cargo handling, travel, technology solutions and in-flight catering. Established in 1959, dnata now employs 20,000 staff in 38 countries across five continents.
In-flight catering is emerging as one of dnata’s fastest growing business areas and acquisitions have played a key role in the global growth of this sector of dnata’s business. During the past two years, dnata has acquired stakes in three in-flight catering companies – Alpha Flight Group, a leading in-flight caterer employing 5,800 staff in operations at 61 airports across 11 countries; Wings Inflight Service, with operations in Cape Town and Johannesburg and En Route International with operations in London, Dubai and the United States of America. Alpha has also recently formed a joint venture business in the UK between Alpha and LSG Skychefs.
With a global catering presence in some 64 airports, during the financial year 2011/12, dnata served over 50 million meals worldwide. dnata offers a range of services from traditional inflight catering, to retail onboard, packaging, distribution and sourcing solutions as well as airport restaurants and duty free sales.
About New Rest
With origins in Group Catair in 1996 and founded by its co-CEOs Olivier Sadran and Jonathan Stent-Torriani in Toulouse (France), Newrest is the only major catering company active in all catering and related hospitality segments including airline catering, rail catering, contract catering, concession retail, buy-on-board, health care, education, remote site and support services.
With expected 2012 revenues under management of around one billion Euros and more than 20,000 employees worldwide in 46 countries, Newrest is also the second largest ‘independent’ airline caterer worldwide.
At year end closing 2012 (October) Newrest had zero net debt and is 68.1% management-owned, with more than 130 of its managers participating in its capital. The remaining capital is held by Axa Private Equity (22.1%), Natixis (7.3%) and BNP Private Equity (2.5%). Newrest is committed to constant improvement and innovation for its clients, the well-being and progress of its employees and managers, a sustainable and durable development of the company and total respect of social and environmental values in all of its activities.
Meikles are confident that this transaction will enhance earnings arising from its Mentor investment, which will in turn enhance shareholder value.