Fish-and-chip giant Harry Ramsden's has been sold by catering company Compass.

The world's largest caterer said it has agreed to split its travel catering business Select Service Partner (SSP) and sell to two different firms.

Swedish private equity group EQT Partners is to buy the airports and railway business which includes Ramsden's while Sydney-based Macquarie Bank is to take over its Moto motorway service station arm. The original fish and chip shop at White Cross in Guiseley was opened in 1928, by Harry Ramsden with just £150 and was initially based in a green and white wooden hut.

The empire was floated on the stock exchange in 1988 and has hundreds of outlets around the world.

Compass, based in Chertsey, Surrey, unveiled plans to sell the units last autumn and said it wished to focus on its core contract catering business.