Philly-based Aramark’s IPO could raise $1 billion

Aramark has given notice that it will return to the public marketplace, again. 

The food services giant, headquartered in Philadelphia, had been controlled by group of private equity investors, including J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs since 2007. It’s expected to raise from $500 million up to $1 billion with an initial public offering.

The company that employs 6,500 in Philadelphia and serves up food at Eagles, Flyers and Phillies games employs more than a quarter million people in 22 countries across the globe.

The sale would allow the company to pay down debt and give the private investors an opportunity to begin making their exit.

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“By being a public company. [Aramark] would afford their private owners the ability to sell shares directly to the public,” explains Moody’s analyst Ed DeForest. The company has gone through two prior IPOs.

DeForest says the latest round of private ownership allowed the company to pursue long-term investments in efficiency that allowed it to remain relatively stable throughout the recession. 

“On the whole, a public Aramark with a lower debt burden would be a credit-positive development,” DeForest said.

In other words, the food business should look more appetizing … to the financial markets.


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