SBJ/May 12-18, 2014/Facilities

Levy acquires minor league concessionaire

Major league food provider Levy Restaurants has acquired Professional Sports Catering, a minor league baseball concessionaire.

The transaction boosts Levy’s market share in minor league baseball and gives PSC greater leverage as it pursues new business. Levy itself is owned by London-based Compass Group, the world’s largest food service company.

Levy and PSC, two Chicago firms, signed the deal last week. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Oklahoma City’s Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark is among the 20 facilities served by Professional Sports Catering.
Photo: COURTESY OF PROFESSIONAL SPORTS CATERING

PSC’s annual revenue is in the $30 million range, confirmed Tom Dickson, the company’s CEO.

The firms have been in talks about forming a partnership for the better part of three years (SportsBusiness Journal, Jan. 27-Feb. 2). The timing was finally right after PSC expanded its business to more than 15 minor league accounts, Dickson said.

Driving the merger for Professional Sports Catering was the opportunity to gain Levy’s financial support behind its expertise at the minor league level, eight years after PSC was founded in suburban Chicago.

“We’ve grown [to be] a fairly significant player in the industry, but you can only grow so much organically,” Dickson said. “Being able to bring the best of what PSC has developed and putting the power of Levy behind us, we think, is going to be a real powerful combination.”

For Levy Restaurants, the deal meets its desire to further expand in minor league baseball beyond its four accounts, President Andy Lansing said. Levy will provide its resources to PSC, including culinary hospitality training, analytics and financial backing.

“We have long admired Tom and his team,” Lansing said. “They run a first-class business and know the landscape well. It’s a natural for us.”

The Professional Sports Catering brand remains intact, as well as the senior management team, and PSC will operate as a “completely autonomous” unit, similar to Levy’s relationship with Compass Group, Dickson said.

One thing that does change: Mandalay Baseball, which previously owned a piece of PSC, is no longer involved in its ownership after Levy’s purchase. Levy now owns 100 percent of PSC, Dickson said.

PSC continues to serve four ballparks whose tenants are owned by Mandalay Baseball: the Dayton Dragons, Erie Seahawks, Oklahoma City Redhawks and Frisco Roughriders.

All told, PSC now runs food service at 20 facilities, including Levy’s deals at Huntington Park in Columbus; Haymarket Park in Lincoln, Neb., Aces Ballpark in Reno, Nev., and the St. Paul Saints’ new $63 million stadium opening in 2015. The total also includes the Peoria (Ariz.) Sports Complex, the spring training home of the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners. PSC picked up that account earlier this year and will continue to look at spring training accounts.


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