Thu, 23 Mar 2023 | BUSINESS SALE
The Airedale Group, a private equity-backed catering equipment company, has acquired Pershore-based counterpart Sprint Refrigeration and Catering Ltd. The deal brings together two of the UK’s leading catering equipment firms, with both companies being major providers of catering design, installation and maintenance services.
The scale of the two companies within their sector means that the deal represents a major consolidation of the UK's catering equipment market. According to research from trade publication Catering Insight, Airedale is the largest firm in the sector by turnover, with £42.2 million in revenue in its latest financial accounts, while Sprint is the third largest, with £20.1 million in turnover.
Airedale Group is based in Bradford and received backing from private equity firm Rubicon Partners in 2021. The group's partnership with the private equity firm is focused on driving growth through acquisitions and long-term strategic development.
The company expects the acquisition of Sprint, which was founded in 1994, to enhance the group’s value proposition to its customers through increased scale and technology.
Airedale Group chief executive Rob Bywell commented: "With this acquisition, Airedale Group are demonstrating a continued commitment to broadening our offering, and to investing in unique propositions for the hospitality and food service sector.”
"With Sprint's expertise in high growth sectors such as QSR (quick-service restaurants) and supermarket retail, coupled with Airedale's resources in areas such as fabrication and our industry-leading pool of engineering talent, we can offer customers solutions that can't be found elsewhere. Our strategy has been to become the definitive partner to the sector, and this is another huge step forward in that endeavour.”
"Rubicon Partners' investment in Airedale back in May 2021 provided us with the launchpad necessary to move the Group to the next level. Our philosophy is to continue to build a platform of highly complementary brands that are specialists and leaders in their respective sectors, but who also work closely together to increase overall customer value.”
Bywell added: "With Rubicon's backing, we have the capacity to make further investments both in our current operations, and by seeking to acquire businesses, like Sprint and Network, that will broaden and enhance our service offer.”
Sprint director Ross Ryan added: "This is a great opportunity to build on everything that has been achieved by the Sprint team. The support and investment available as part of the Airedale Group will help deliver our growth plans and see the business fulfil its potential.”
"After extensive discussions over many months with the Airedale team it became clear that the two businesses have similar priorities and values, especially with respect to customer focus and a dedication to delivering exceptional results. We were also struck by their approach to businesses that have joined the Airedale platform, particularly with the retention of both culture and identity. We're convinced that Sprint's growth will only accelerate as a result of group synergies and the investment available."
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