A subsidiary of Italian clothing giant Benetton has made a £1.4bn bid for the retail food and drink arm of troubled Compass. Autogrill is understood to be the only catering company involved in the auction for Select Service Partner, which includes Moto, Upper Crust and Harry Ramsden's. Whitbread is thought to have expressed an interest but has not been included on the six-strong shortlist. Autogrill is one of the largest operations or motorway service stations in Europe and also has operations at airports. With 4,200 outlets in 15 countries and employing around 50,000 people, it claims to be the world's leading supplier of food to people on the move. Bosses believe they could substantially improve the quality of food on offer to travellers at the UK's railway stations and motorway service areas. The Sunday Telegraph 18/12/05 (Business) page 1