Alternative Hotel Group (AHG) has promised not to change the Searcy brand, admitting that attempting to alter the top-end caterer's identity would be "suicide".
AHG completed the multi-million pound takeover of the Royal Opera House, National Portrait Gallery and Gherkin caterer last week, a deal first revealed in Caterer.
Although stressing it was early days in the integration process, AHG food and beverage director Duncan Ackery said the intention was not to make dramatic changes.
"The reason we bought Searcy is the same reason we bought De Vere," he said. "They are both very strong British brands with opportunities to grow."
Ackery said Searcy would retain its identity and wouldn't be subsumed into De Vere, suggesting this would be "suicide" for the brand and "render the deal pointless".
"Despite this I do think there will be synergies, as Searcy has the commitment to quality that we are injecting into De Vere," he added.
One area of potential growth for Searcy is likely to be the outsourcing of hotel food and beverage, which was demonstrated by the recent Restaurant Associates/Gary Rhodes joint venture at London's Cumberland hotel. However, any expansion into this area will not involve De Vere, which is developing its own F&B-led operations.
Although no official purchase price was disclosed, the Searcy takeover was estimated to be worth in the region of £20m to £25m.
By Chris Druce
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