The OCS Group has snapped up Reading-based contract caterer Just Deli in a deal it claims makes it the UK's sixth largest contract caterer.
Although the sale price was not revealed, it is believed to be in excess of £7m.
It will also give OCS a bigger presence in the business and industry sector as OCS Catering deals predominantly with hospital catering.
Just Deli was set up in 1996 by John Duffield, who will remain in a senior management role. It is forecast to achieve a turnover approaching £11m this year.
It specialises in staff catering, primarily in the London and Thames Valley region, where it provides workers with a high street-style deli/bistro service.
Duffield said Just Deli would be able to use OCS's national infrastructure to expand its business to other parts of the country.
The lack of this support system has hampered its efforts to expand in the West Midlands, where it holds a major contract at the Mitchells & Butlers head office.
Duffield had also considered a flotation on OFEX or using shareholders' money to fund the geographic expansion.
by Angela Frewin
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