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The Warsaw Voice » Business » February 4, 2009
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Autogrill Enters Poland
February 4, 2009 By A.R.    
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Italy's Autogrill, the world's largest catering and roadside services provider, is coming to Poland. The company will be teaming up with Impel, Poland's largest outsourcing services provider, to run diners along Poland's freeways.

Autogrill and Impel will be setting up Autogrill Polska, a new venture in which Autogrill will hold a 51-percent stake and Impel 49 percent. Running diners along Poland's major arteries will make up the company's main line of business. "We see our Polish expansion as a strategic investment, because this country is the link between Eastern and Western Europe," says Giorgio Minardi, general manager of Autogrill Europe. "Poland is one of the most developed economies in Central and Eastern Europe and our investment has factored in its huge potential for building up its infrastructure in the near future."

Autogrill is one of the first international operators in this industry to enter the Polish market which until now has been dominated by lots of local players. The company's foray into Poland is a key plank of its Central and Eastern European development strategy. The group has also been operated in Slovenia since 2005 and the Czech Republic since 2007.

"We decided to work with Autogrill because of its invaluable know-how," says Impel management board chairman Grzegorz Dzik. "This joint project will allow Impel to make further inroads into the catering sector, where traveler services are the fastest growing. This industry has huge potential given the extensive construction of freeways and expressways planned for Poland over the next few years."

Autogrill Polska will be taking over the catering services at four roadside service areas along the A4 freeway (Młyński Staw, Rzędziwojowice, Halemba, Wirek) by the end of the year, under an agreement with Shell. The company will be managing 11 rest areas by 2010.

Autogrill Polska will be running restaurants along the A1, A2 and A4 freeways, major European transportation routes, and will be providing catering services at snack-bars and self-service dining facilities. These will offer a wide selection of international food. The company is also considering setting up at airports, railway stations and bus stations. Poland had 750 kilometers of expressways and freeways in 2007. This is expected to increase to 3,500 km by 2013.
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