19 August 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Mitie has announced that it is selling its catering and hospitality divisions, comprising its Gather & Gather brand across the UK and Ireland, and Creativevents, to CH&CO.
The catering business has been sold for a consideration of up to £85 million in cash. The proceeds will be used to further strengthen Mitie's balance sheet, with part of the proceeds used to reinvest in Mitie's core business.
As part of the deal, Mitie and CH&CO will enter into a strategic partnership ensuring that the Gather & Gather catering offer remains exclusive to Mitie's clients as its only Integrated Facilities Management sector partner. Gather & Gather will continue to work closely with Mitie on existing contracts and locations.
CH&CO is a Royal Warrant holder for the provision of catering services to Her Majesty The Queen and other prestigious clients such as Historic Royal Palaces, ZSL London Zoo and Kew Gardens.
Mitie said CH&CO's experience in this area was an opportunity "to enhance the range of services that Gather & Gather and Creativevents provide".
The staff and senior management team of Mitie Catering, including managing director, Allister Richards, will transfer to CH&CO and will continue to run the business.
Phil Bentley, chief executive of Mitie, said: "Mitie's strategy is to invest in our core technology-led facilities management services - such as security, cleaning and engineering services - where we have a leading market position. Gather & Gather is a niche player in the £4 billion UK contract catering market. By teaming up with CH&CO at this time, we believe this ensures the best choice and competitive pricing for our clients, whilst releasing funds for reinvestment and strengthening our balance sheet.
"The Gather & Gather management team will continue to lead the business and we look forward to working with them on delivering their unique offering to our existing clients and on future IFM opportunities."
Allister Richards, managing director of Gather & Gather, said "it has been a great pleasure to build this business over the last seven years" and said that the firm would continue working with Mitie closely as a strategic partner.