Foodservice and facilities management firm Servest has acquired Catering Academy, for an undisclosed sum, in a strategic move to grow the group's catering division.
Catering Academy is an independent contract catering company, which works in the education, healthcare and business and industry sectors.
Formed in 2004 by Louise Wymer and Kevin Cannon, Catering Academy operates nationally and works with a significant number of Blue Chip organisations.
The acquisition will enable Servest to expand and develop its presence in the education sector. Servest initially approached Catering Academy in 2015 and restarted discussions earlier this year.
Rob Legge, group CEO UK and Europe at Servest, told The Caterer the "good multiple" deal was signed last week for a "market-related purchase price".
He said Servest's catering division now has a turnover of £100m and the company plans to increase the figure to £200m in the next three years with organic growth and acquisitions.
"We have always wanted to get into catering and our acquisition of 7 Day Catering back in 2013 formed the foundation," he said.
"We've seen how successful that has been for us and are keen to develop our foodservice business offering. Education catering is an area we need to be involved in and catering is a massive growth area for us."
He said the company is looking into acquiring a London-centric catering outlet in the coming year.
Wymer, co-founder and director of Catering Academy said: "We are excited to join forces with such an illustrious organisation in order to continue providing excellent service to our strong client base."
Legge added: "The acquisition of Catering Academy forms a part of Servest's growth strategy and will help develop our already successful catering division.
"This decision demonstrates our commitment to boosting the group's footprint in the education sector and will enable us to offer additional expertise to our clients. I look forward to working with Catering Academy's senior management team on assimilating the business into the group."
The Catering Academy name will be retained and Cannon, Wymer and the senior management team will remain in place to facilitate a smooth transition.
At the beginning of this year Servest acquired Accuro Catering to increase its presence in key sectors such as education, hospitals and healthcare.
Servest Catering came fifth in the list of the top 20 fastest growing foodservice operators in the UK for the 2015 Foodservice Growth report, compiled by AlixPartners and EP.
The firm went up 14 places from the previous year after achieving growth rates of 22.9%.
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