SSP, the operator of travel brands like Upper Crust and Caffè Ritazza, has confirmed it plans to float on the stock market.

The company hopes to raise around £500m following its launch on the FTSE.

SSP operates 1,981 branded food and beverage in airports and railway stations in 29 countries.

The company said it expected to issue new shares in the coming weeks and would use the proceeds to pay down debt. It also plans to refinance its existing debt.

Private equity owner EQT, which bought the fast-food group from Compass in a £1.3bn deal in 2006, plans to sell part of its stake. Executives, former staff and other investors will also be able to sell shares.

Chief executive Kate Swann said: “SSP is a leader in the fast-growing international travel food and beverage market and is focused on the more rapidly growing sectors of air and rail ... an IPO is the appropriate next step for a business of SSP’s calibre, size and international scale and we believe that we are well-placed for life as a listed company.”