In 1999, the Group made  a take-over bid for Host Marriott Services, the leading operator in f&b and retail services for travellers in America.

Towards the business of the airports

The acquisition enacted the decision of the Group to carry its internationalization process beyond the bounds of its albeit significant expansion in Europe and to simultaneously start a strategy of diversification into airport business.


Founded in 1897, HMSHost started its f&b and retail business on big railway networks.
By the Twenties it had taken in shipping as well, and in the early Fifties it was the first company to invest in America’s large airports.
In 1999 HMSHost:

  • the leading operator in f&b and retail services for travellers in America
  • 2,250 points of sale in 84 airports world-wide and 112 “travel plazas” in North America
  • manages a huge number of food&beverge and retail brands, the best brands known world-wide.

Diversification and multibrand strategy for travellers

The operation allowed a business expansions in terms of channels, and offered the Group the opportunity to position itself as an operator serving customers through all travel infrastructures.

Furthermore, through the acquisition Autogrill enlarged its brand portfolio integrating the over 100 brands previously managed by HMSHost, among which are world-wide top brands as Starbucks Coffee, Burger King, Pizza Hut, etc.

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