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Servest adds catering to portfolio

16 January 2013

Servest has acquired independent catering business 7 Day Catering as part of its growth and diversification strategy.

Servest identified the catering company as providing an excellent strategic fit with the existing business and its plans for expansion and growth in the UK facilities sector. The combined business will have annual sales of around £200m. “This acquisition is part of our ambitious growth strategy which we aim to achieve through a mix of organic growth and further purchases,” said Servest Group CEO UK and Europe Robert Legge.

According to Servest, there is a clear trend in the UK towards multi-service facilities provision. Legge commented: “I think it is fair to say that we probably have lost out in the past by not having a TFM option and that we would [lose out] in the future. Primarily because a lot of the government public sector type contracts that are coming out at the moment for tender are TFM. They are fully loaded with all the different service lines and unless you can demonstrate the capability then you would be excluded from that process. And I think the core services – catering, cleaning and security – need to be self-delivered to give the customer maximum efficiency.”

“This acquisition provides diversification into yet another service area - it offers long term contracts and a huge growth opportunity. I look forward to working with the7 Day Catering team on integrating the business into Servest and realising our combined potential.”

Commenting on the deal, 7 Day Catering’s MD Henry Wattssaid: “This is great news for our business. Working with Servest we can now bring our quality and service to customers as part of an integrated facilities offer.”

7 Day Catering was founded by Chairman Mark Boothright in 1990. It currently employs 2,500 people and provides services to more than 170 clients in business, industry and education. It has an annual turnover of £80m.

The emphasis is on continuity, with Henry Watts and the senior management at 7 Day Catering remaining in place to drive the strategy and growth of the business. The senior management team will retain equity in the business.

Servest believes this acquisition will further its ambition to become a top five industry player. The new combined entity will be well placed to enhance value by adding additional complementary services, forming strategic alliances with other service providers and making further acquisitions.

Legge concluded: “We believe we are of a size that we can now compete with the bigger PLCs within our sector and we also believe that we can offer something very different from what is out there at the moment in terms of service delivery and the type of business that we are. We believe some of the bigger companies have taken their eye off the ball when it comes to service delivery and we are the alternative to them.”

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