C-store chain Whistlestop is set for a new owner as parent company Compass is looking to sell off its subsidiaries to focus on its core business.

Compass, the world’s largest catering business, is seeking to dispose of its travel concessions arm Select Service Partners (SSP), which operates the Whistlestop chain as well as Marks & Spencer Simply Food sites at major railway stations and motorway service stations. It also runs outlets under other Compass brand names Upper Crust, Harry Ramsdens, Moto and Millie’s Cookies.

SSP’s annual turnover is around £1.9bn with pre-tax profits of over £100m. The formal sale process is expected to begin before the end of the year and, according to reports, several organisations have already expressed an interest.

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