The Wilkes Corporate team has advised Tamworth-based contract catering firm 7 Day Catering in the acquisition of a majority shareholding in the business by global facilities company Servest. Acquired as part of Servest’s growth and diversification strategy, the combined business is predicted to have annual sales of around £200m.
Gareth O’Hara, partner in the corporate team at The Wilkes Partnership, led the legal team including Associate Sam Forrest and new recruit, assistant solicitor Kathryn Morgan. He comments: “Growing from our longstanding relationship with Henry Watts, the managing director of 7 Day Catering, we acted for all shareholders of 7 Day Catering in this deal to advise them on the best strategy for the sale of their shares. The majority acquisition by Servest provides diversification into other service areas for 7 Day Catering, bringing with it the prospect of securing longer term contracts and offering a huge growth opportunity.”
Founded in 1990, 7 Day Catering 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.
Henry Watts, managing director of 7 Day Catering, commented: “It was all new territory for us and it was very reassuring having such a professional and knowledgeable legal team behind. The Wilkes team knew exactly what the pitfalls were going to be even before we arrived at them. When we nearly lost the will to live they kept calm and steered a steady course with good humour and professionalism.”
On the business, Mr Watts commented “The 7 Day Catering brand will remain, with the business continuing to offer a stand-alone catering service and the senior management team of myself, David Griffiths and Mark Johnson also remaining. We are delighted to be working with Servest on realising the combined potential of our businesses and look forward to providing our excellent quality and service to clients as part of an integrated facilities offering.”
Wilkes Managing partner Mark Abrol commented “We always aim to build long term, trusted advisor relationships with our clients and 7 Day Catering is no exception. Having worked closely with Henry and the team for a number of years, we were delighted to be able to assist them to achieve their objectives in this transaction.”
Servest has identified a clear trend in the UK towards multi-service facilities provision. Robert Legge, Servest group CEO UK and Europe, explains: “More and more customers recognise the cost and time-saving benefits of having one point of contact for all their facilities services, from cleaning and catering to security and pest control.”
Servest believes this acquisition will further its ambition to become a top five industry player, with the new combined entity well placed to enhance value for customers by adding additional complementary services, forming strategic alliances with other service providers and making further acquisitions.