Premium contract caterer and hospitality services group CH&CO currently provides catering services across 1,000 UK sites, including the Royal Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and Tower of London venues
CH&CO has a prestigious client portfolio and has been a Royal Warrant Holder since 2013 | Photo credit: Equistone
UK-based Compass Group has signed an agreement to acquire premium contract caterer and hospitality services group CH&CO for £475m ($600m).
Berkshire-based CH&CO provides catering services to more than 900 clients across 1,000 locations in the workplace, sports, leisure and tourism industries, primarily in London.
Backed by London-based private equity group Equistone, CH&CO has a prestigious client portfolio and has been a Royal Warrant Holder since 2013. It manages catering facilities for some of London’s most iconic tourist attractions, including The Tower of London, Hampton Court and the Royal Opera Hous, and currently generates annual revenues of £450m ($570m).
The combined business will see CH&CO’s Gather & Gather, Vacherin and Company of Cooks subsidiaries transfer to Compass Group’s brand portfolio. The terms of the deal include an additional earn-out in the two years following completion, depending on the profit growth of the business.
“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,” said Dominic Blakemore, Group CEO, Compass Group.
In November 2023, Compass Group credited a record number of new business wins and strong client retention as driving its strong full-year sales. The Surrey-based business, which operates across 35 markets globally, achieved 19% revenue growth in the 12 months ended 30 September 2023 to reach £31.3bn ($39bn), while operating profit increased 30% to £2.1bn ($2.6bn).