Equistone-backed CH&CO acquires Gather & Gather from Mitie
CH&CO, a portfolio company of Equistone Partners Europe, has today announced the acquisition of Mitie Catering, comprising Gather & Gather and Creativevents, the workplace catering and events businesses of Mitie. This is the first bolt-on CH&CO has made since Equistone’s initial investment in May 2019 and marks a continuation of the company’s acquisitive growth strategy.
This deal brings an increase in turnover of £137m to CH&CO, 330 more sites across the UK and Ireland and an additional 3,600 team members to the CH&CO family.
Joining the CH&CO portfolio of businesses, Gather & Gather will benefit from being part of a company that is solely dedicated to food and beverages, whilst continuing to provide catering services to Mitie’s Integrated Facilities Management (IFM) clients under a strategic partnership agreement.
Gather & Gather has a strong reputation in the industry built up through an established workplace and event catering business which brings a complementary blend to CH&CO’s broad range of clients across multiple sectors including destinations, venues, education, livery and healthcare, as well as workplaces and events. CH&CO also holds a Royal Warrant for the provision of catering services to HM Queen.
Ed Baker, Investment Director at Equistone and member of the CH&CO board, commented: “In CH&CO we have backed a fantastic management team with a great track record of delivering growth in a sector where there is a significant level of opportunity for consolidation. This is the first bolt-on acquisition that Equistone has supported since its initial investment in May this year. We look forward to working with CH&CO’s CEO, Bill Toner, and the team to support additional acquisitive and organic growth opportunities.”
Bill Toner, Chief Executive Officer, CH&CO, commented: “This acquisition is a key part of our growth strategy and represents a great opportunity for Mitie, Gather & Gather and CH&CO. We are very excited about the future growth potential for our business in our strategic partnership with Mitie – we bring scale and catering expertise; Mitie brings an extensive client list and innovation, and we both have a reputation for great customer service. The sharing of best practice will drive an even better service for our clients, and the enlarged CH&CO group creates unparalleled opportunities for growth.
“We also welcome a significant number of new clients to our family and we’ve gained a footprint in Ireland. It’s very much business as usual for all parties involved; the Gather & Gather name will be maintained, and clients will still deal with the same people as they do today.”
Allister Richards, Managing Director, Gather & Gather, said: “It has been a great pleasure to build this business over the last seven years and I’m so proud that our committed team now delivers exceptional food and drink to more than 250,000 customers daily across workplaces, historic venues and large outdoor events.
“Our growth has been fuelled by a determination to do things our own way, and to serve our customers in a style that better reflects modern tastes and expectations. To do this we have focused our efforts on our wellbeing programmes, inspiring collaborations such as our Gathered Table initiative, new technologies and of course our people, without whom none of this would be possible.
“Mitie’s input and support has been fantastic throughout, and we look forward to continuing working with them closely as a strategic partner. This next step is an exciting opportunity for us to be part of a group that is dedicated to providing catering and hospitality services to its clients. In CH&CO, we have found our business a home where we can build on our success and continue to thrive in new and existing markets. We are delighted to be joining their team.”
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