Education caterer Alliance in Partnership (AIP) has signed an £11m management buyout deal backed by private equity firm Key Capital Partners (KCP).
The current management team, comprising Angela Austin, Sally Tyson, Paul Rogers and David Weller, provided "significant investment" as part of the agreement, which is also supported by Clydesdale/Yorkshire Bank.
Weller, AIP managing director, said: "As a team we have always had progressive development objectives and high customer merits.
"Through this development we are able to accelerate our growth plans and concentrate our efforts on core values of quality varied meals, local ingredients and working towards achieving excellence in food accreditations."
The MBO will ensure AIP jobs remain secure and additional job opportunities become available, the company said.
Richard Thomas, investment director at KCP, added: "David and his team have consistently grown the business year on year based on their unwavering focus on delivering high quality, nutritious meals at guaranteed costs."
AIP said it has the potential to double the number of school meals it serves from September, following the announcement by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Chancellor George Osborne last December that the government will invest £1.23b in Universal Free School Meals for children in years one and two.
The caterer currently manages a portfolio of 170 schools across the state and independent education sector, feeding more than 35,000 pupils daily. It employs around 800 staff and holds the Gold, Silver and Bronze Food for Life Catering Mark.