Dnata (Emirates Group) acquires En Route International

dnata, one of the world’s largest air services providers – and part of the Emirates Group of companies – has acquired a majority stake in En Route International Ltd, a UK supplier of bakery and packaged food solutions with operations in London, Dubai and the USA. BCMS advised the shareholders of En Route throughout the transaction.

At the time of the transaction in 2012, En Route International had 10 years’ catering experience in the travel market. It provided a range of premium quality products and serviced a growing client list, including British Airways, Delta and Emirates. En Route also operated key distribution centres at two of the world’s busiest airports – London Heathrow in the UK and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the USA.

“I think appointing BCMS was my lifesaver. BCMS does the negotiations for you, which takes the emotion out of it all” – Alison Cooper, En Route

“En Route is a niche player which offers highly creative and innovative food solutions, supported by robust logistics,” said Stewart Angus, Divisional Senior Vice President, Associated Companies. “It will continue to operate independently under the charismatic leadership of its Managing Director and founder, Alison Cooper. We look forward to developing and growing the business and to expanding its capability elsewhere”.

Alison Cooper, Managing Director, En Route, added: “Becoming part of dnata brings a number of new opportunities to En Route and will undoubtedly enhance our ability to develop and distribute our products to a wider audience. That will enable us to both grow the business and provide greater opportunities and a secure future for our employees.”

Post-transaction developments

This transaction is an excellent example of how acquisition can deliver the resources and structure required to propel your business to the next level. Alison stayed with En Route for a further five years. During that time, under her expert leadership, En Route more than tripled turnover to £42m a year, providing a significant uplift on the value of Alison’s shareholding on her eventual exit.

A serial entrepreneur, business mentor, and active member of the BCMS Fellows programme, Alison is a regular guest speaker at events, offering advice and insights to other business owners.