Vertas Group has acquired Churchill Catering in a deal that it says will allow it to become a national contract catering provider.
Education caterer Vertas currently focuses on the education sector, preparing 40,000 meals a day for school children and college students in East Anglia.
The deal with Churchill sees it take on 50 more UK sites in the commercial and leisure market, including Forestry Commission sites such as Go Ape in Thetford, and the headquarters of Church’s footwear, Forestry Commission Scotland and Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Police.
After 22 years running the Bury St Edmunds-based Churchill Catering, managing director Tony Nicholl is retiring and his son Stuart will continue to run the operations. All 350 Churchill staff in England Scotland will be retained and it will be “business as usual” as far as clients are concerned.
Tony Nicholl said: “Vertas is a business with a strong team which will add to the depth of our business offer including purchasing and resource planning. From clients’ perspectives nothing will change. The rest of the Churchill Catering team will continue to support the work they do for clients with their usual flair and determination.”
Ian Surtees, chief executive at Vertas Group, said: “We are delighted to be part of the longer term strategy of Churchill Catering and will support the superb management team to continue to deliver first class services to customers. The Vertas Group directors and senior management team are visiting all the new sites over the coming weeks with Stuart Nicholl from Churchill, to introduce ourselves to staff and further understand the needs of the business.”
Vertas employs 3,000 staff across 450 sites and has made four acquisitions in the last 12 months.
The nine companies making up the group are:
- Churchill Catering
- Diamond View
- Oakpark Security
- Schools’ Choice
- Vertas Environmental
- Verse Facilities Management (JV)
Pictured: Kirroughtree Visitor Centre, run by Forestry Commission Scotland, where Churchill provides the catering