Compass Group to buy CH&CO for £475m

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Compass Group to buy CH&CO for £475m

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Compass Group has signed an agreement to acquire rival contract caterer CH&CO in a deal worth £475m.

The global food service company will take on the business, which provides contract and hospitality services in the UK and Ireland at venues that include Kew Gardens.

CH&CO currently generates annual revenues of around £450m and operates across a range of sectors, including business and industry, sports and leisure, education, and healthcare, according to Compass, adding that its 'diverse client base and broad geographic spread'  would complement Compass Group’s existing footprint in the UK and Ireland.  

“CH&CO is a highly regarded food service business in our industry. This proposed acquisition combines the best of the two companies: our shared passion for people, great food, and focus on sustainability. With CH&CO’s strong brand identity and a broad geographic reach, we would be able to further enhance our customer proposition, helping us capitalise on the significant growth potential in the market," says Dominic Blakemore, group CEO of Compass Group.

“The proposed acquisition is in line with our longstanding strategy to create value through disciplined capital allocation. Our strong cash generation and balance sheet give us the flexibility to invest in organic growth and to acquire high quality businesses with exceptional management teams, enabling us to further accelerate growth and enhance shareholder returns.”

Bill Toner, CEO of CH&CO, adds: “We’re delighted that Compass wants to acquire CH&CO. The prospect of joining a leading global provider of food services offers huge potential for us and our clients. Creativity and innovation are skills that we share with Compass and food is at the heart of everything we do.” 

“Both businesses have strong and complementary brands, and subject to regulatory approval, there is a great opportunity for us to learn from each other and to build an even more exciting future together.” 

Completion of the proposed transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

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