Sodexo has acquired education caterer Alliance in Partnership (AiP) for an undisclosed sum.
AiP, which reported turnover of £25.8m and profit after tax of £496,000 for the year to 31 August 2018, includes the Contract Dining Company and Class Catering Services and will further strengthen Sodexo's presence in education market.
It was established in 1998 and now serves more than 400 schools and colleges.
Managing director Paul Rogers will continue to lead the business as part of a new operational board that includes Sodexo's managing director for government schools Matt Garner. The new board will report into Sodexo's chief executive for schools and universities Andrew Wilkinson.
Wilkinson said: "We are delighted to welcome the talented and dynamic AiP team to Sodexo. The AiP impressive client base of 418 schools will strongly complement our existing schools' business.
"The education sector presents a huge growth area for us and we have been looking to expand our presence in it for some time. Whilst we have been growing our own business organically, acquiring a company already well-established in the sector enables us to develop our scale, infrastructure and visibility."
AiP Managing director Paul Rogers added: "We are thrilled to be joining Sodexo. We share a similar ethos and we have a common heritage which is to serve healthy, nutritious food in a fun and welcoming environment. By joining forces with Sodexo, we believe that we can take our business to the next level and give the company and our people significant opportunities to grow."