lancer Lancer Hospitality
Lancer Hospitality operates in multiple segments like parks/recreation, colleges, museums and K-12 schools.

Elior acquires Top 50 firm Lancer Hospitality

The company makes another in a string of deals expanding its reach, size and market share.

French contract catering firm Elior Group through its US subsidiary, Elior North America, has announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Lancer Hospitality, a Minnesota-based food management services provider to clients in a variety of segments, primarily cultural attractions, business centers, schools and healthcare facilities.

Both Elior North America and Lancer were on FM’s 2017 Top 50 listing of contract management firms, Elior at No. 5 with $900 million in 2016 revenues and Lancer at No. 32 with $75 million.

The acquisition strengthens Elior North America’s position in three of its priority markets—education, healthcare and senior dining—while also expanding its geographic reach, said Elior North America President/CEO Brian Poplin in a statement announcing the deal.

“The addition of Lancer Hospitality takes us deeper into several markets we currently serve and expands our offerings into new areas,” he noted. “In the cultural segment, we are adding a roster of new venues and strengthening our position in the education, senior dining and healthcare verticals, where we already have a strong middle-market presence.”

“This acquisition is another step within our strategic plan to accelerate development within growing markets,” added Elior Group Chairman/CEO Philippe Salle. “In the segments where we see significant opportunities, Lancer Hospitality fits perfectly. We are focused on growth within the United States and will continue to expand both organically and through strategic acquisitions like this one.”

Lancer will continue to operate under its current brand as part of Elior North America’s West Market Segment and will be continue to be led by current president Glenn Baron. All employees are expected to be retained as Elior employees.

Lancer has been growing fairly quickly in recent years, going from $53 million in revenues in 2014 to $75 million last year. The company has significant operations in concessions and catering, which together accounted for 60 percent of revenues last year. Its largest operating segment is parks and recreation centers, which accounted for 40 percent of the business last year.

“We are looking forward to joining the team members at Elior North America, bringing our best practices, and our shared commitment to the clients,” Baron said in the acquisition announcement release. “For our employees, there is now tremendous opportunity throughout the company we’re joining, and for our clients, access to additional resources will allow us to invest in our infrastructure, giving us the ability to enhance our operations with new technology and culinary innovation.”

Elior North America has also been expanding at a rapid rate, both organically and through acquisitions, almost doubling revenues in just the past two years. The company formerly known as TrustHouse Services before its own acquisition by Elior Group in 2013 was originally formed through the merger of three Top 50 firms and has since made deals for such major firms as Valley Services, A’viands, Cura Hospitality, Starr Catering, Preferred Meal Systems and Corporate Chefs. It operates primarily in institutional segments like senior dining, K-12, higher education and corrections.

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