Marks and Spencer's Simply Food franchise stores could be the big winner from the sale of catering group Compass's travel retail division.
Swedish investment vehicle EQT picked up the food and retail outlets, which include the Simply Food franchise, from Compass's Select Service Partner division for an estimated £1.2bn.
Analysts believe that the Simply Food franchise could benefit from extra investment by cash bidder EQT. Taking the format overseas, opening more Whistlestops and Simply Foods alongside each other for different target markets, and converting some Whistlestops to Simply Food were all options likely to be considered by the new owners.