13 November 2015 | Marino Donati
Caterer and FM services provider Aramark is set to acquire Irish food and retail business Avoca and could bring the brand to the UK.
Aramark said that the deal to buy the family-run business was a strategic investment that would "internationalise" the Avoca business.
Avoca operates eleven outlets across Ireland including cafes and food halls and also sells craft products, homeware and fashion. The group includes the [email protected] catering company and has a turnover over 59 million (£42m).
Donal O'Brien, president of Aramark's Irish operations, said that the acquisition would provide new platforms to serve consumers and distinguish the business, as well provide consumer insight and help it identify future trends.
"Being able to tap into the supplier base is really critical," he said. "They are very successful in the prepared food business and bring a supplier base of very good artisan food suppliers."
"The catering market is becoming more sophisticated and there's much more awareness and demand from clients for healthy eating and knowing where food is coming from. This will enable us to keep on top of trends."
O'Brien added that the brand had the potential to be exported to the UK and cited the beauty spot catering market as a potential avenue.
Avoca will be run as a separate business unit within Aramark's Irish operations and Avoca managing director Simon Pratt will remain in his current position and will join the senior management team for Aramark's operations in Ireland.
Founders Donald and Hilary Pratt will also remain in the business, as will current directors Ivan Pratt and Vanessa Pratt.
Simon Pratt said that Aramark would provide the business with the corporate structures, global reach and the resources to reach its full potential.
The deal will be subject to the approval of Ireland's Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.