Foodservice supplier Pasta King has changed hands following a £13m, private-equity-backed management buy-in.
The group's new managing director and chairman, Howard Farquhar and Mike Cole, are shareholders in the acquisition vehicle set up by majority stakeholder NBGI Private Equity (NBGIPE). They also headed up the management team that NBGIPE backed in 2003 when it invested in sandwich maker Brambles Foods.
Pasta King was founded in 1995 to provide healthy pasta meals to businesses, especially the education sector. It was bought out in 2006 by board directors Sue Davenport and Paul Haigney in a deal backed by Matrix Private Equity Partners.
The group, which now has 71 staff and an annual turnover of £12m, has won many awards, including the Small- to Medium-sized UK Business of the Year in the National Business Awards 2008, and its Maiale Meatballs Pasta meal was shortlisted in Caterer's Excellence in Food and Drink Awards the same year.
"Pasta King has a very strong position in secondary schools. We want to build on that with improved merchandising, marketing and product development not only for further growth in the education sector but also to significantly increase our presence in other markets," said Farquhar.
In May, Pasta King was nominated as an official meals supplier to NHS hospitals in England and parts of Wales.
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