Compass Group and Levy Restaurants to Expand Strategic Partnership; Compass Group to Acquire Remaining Interest in Levy Restaurants

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--()--Jan. 13, 2006--Compass Group and Levy Restaurants announced today that the two companies have expanded the agreement that made them strategic partners in September 2000. The original agreement brought together the recognized market leaders and provided for Compass Group's acquisition of a minority interest in Levy Restaurants. On April 17th, 2006, Compass Group will purchase the remaining 51% interest in Levy Restaurants. Compass Group is the world's largest, and one of the most respected foodservice management organizations, with market penetration in more than 90 countries worldwide. Levy Restaurants is a specialized restaurant and foodservice organization with the leading market share of premium operations and the fastest growing share of general concession operations at sports and entertainment facilities in North America, together with a network of internationally acclaimed restaurants.

Gary R. Green, President and Chief Executive Officer Compass Group, The Americas Division, said, "We have had an amazing partnership with Levy Restaurants since 2000. In the past 5 years, we have seen in action what we long admired about them - their passion for quality, creativity and their guests. From the recognition and accolades they regularly receive as restaurateurs, to their growing revenues and continuing stream of new sports and entertainment venues which have been awarded to them, we have seen first-hand that they are the best in the business."

"What we have experienced and achieved by being partners with Compass Group over the last five years has been truly remarkable," said Larry Levy, Chairman and Co-Founder of Levy Restaurants. "We entered the partnership with the utmost respect for Compass Group and its leaders. Our respect has not only grown, but we have found in Compass Group true life-long partners who will continue to support every facet of what we do."

Andy Lansing, President and Chief Executive Officer continued, "Every aspect of our Company has been enhanced. It is no coincidence that the most explosive growth in the history of our Company has been during our partnership with Compass Group. They have brought amazing resources, talent and best practices to what we do." Echoing Levy's comments, Lansing said, "There is not a better partner in the world than Compass Group."

Green added, "I can candidly say that Levy Restaurants has made us a stronger Company by bringing their incredible culture and achievements into the rest of Compass. We look forward to supporting Larry, Andy and all their team as they continue doing the amazing things that have made Levy so successful."

Levy's successful growth has been most significant since the Company entered into the partnership with Compass Group in 2000. In the last 5 years, the Company has more than doubled in size with total revenue increases of $350 million. Levy's annual growth rate during that time has been approximately 20% and the Company has more than doubled its accounts to currently operate 95 locations in 42 markets.

BACKGROUND:

LEVY RESTAURANTS started with one single restaurant, a delicatessen in Chicago's famed Water Tower Place, in 1978. Levy Restaurants has expanded to become one of the industry's most recognized and acclaimed foodservice organizations, operating one of the most diverse portfolios within its two business groups.

The Restaurant Group includes the four-star Spiaggia, Bistro 110, as well as several restaurants at Walt Disney World: Portobello Yacht Club, Wolfgang Puck Cafe and Fulton's Crab House, one of the highest grossing restaurant in the U.S. Most recently, Levy Restaurants opened Fulton's on the River, a steak and seafood concept, in Chicago. Today, the Restaurant Group has been recognized with every major dining award and includes 22 locations, ranging from fine dining to casual dining, as well as managing foodservice operations for many major retailers including the Hershey Store (in Chicago) and Build-A-Bear flagship store (New York).

The Sports & Entertainment Group represents a foodservice specialty pioneered by Levy Restaurants -- providing unique restaurant quality dining experiences at sports facilities, entertainment venues and convention centers. Since developing the niche in 1982 at the home of the current World Series Champion Chicago White Sox, the Company has grown the business and currently works in 73 locations, in stadiums, arenas, convention facilities and music/performance venues in 42 markets across the U.S. The Sports & Entertainment Group is the only such operator to have received Restaurants & Institutions' "Ivy Award," the dining industry's Academy Award, bestowed upon the group in 2003.

The Sports & Entertainment Group has been a major catalyst for the Company's overall growth. Since 2000, 45 major sports or entertainment facilities have selected Levy Restaurants or extended the Company's expertise into general concessions. Highlights of the list of new or expanded accounts includes: Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Cubs); Lambeau Field (home of the Green Bay Packers); Dodger Stadium (home of the Los Angeles Dodgers); Ford Field (home of the Detroit Lions); FedEx Forum (home of the Memphis Grizzlies); Toyota Center (home of the Houston Rockets); Charlotte Bobcats Arena (home of the Charlotte Bobcats); 6 NASCAR racetracks, Churchill Downs, (home of the Kentucky Derby); and most recently, American Airlines Center (home of Dallas Mavericks and Stars). In 2002, Levy Restaurants was also selected by AEG to be the exclusive foodservice provider at all AEG sports and music venues around the world, including: STAPLES Center (home of the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers and Kings); Home Depot Center (Los Angeles) and the O2, an arena and sports facility in London on the site of the former Millennium Dome.

Levy's sports and entertainment roster also includes the industry's highest profile events: numerous Super Bowls, Grammy Awards, major league All-Star and championship games, World Series, Kentucky Derbys and NASCAR racing. For more information on Levy Restaurants, www.levyrestaurants.com.

COMPASS GROUP is the world's largest foodservice company. The Group operates in more than 90 countries, with leading market positions in the UK, Continental Europe, Australia and the US, combined with business in developing markets in Eastern Europe, South America and Asia. Compass Group employs more than 400,000 associates. Worldwide the Group has annual revenues of $23.5 billion. For more information on Compass Group, www.compass.group.co.uk.

Contacts

Levy Restaurants
Alison Weber, 312-335-5086
or
Compass Group
Cheryl Queen, 704-328-4018

Contacts

Levy Restaurants
Alison Weber, 312-335-5086
or
Compass Group
Cheryl Queen, 704-328-4018