Multimillion-pound deal secures takeover of catering equipment specialist

From left: Ryan Bilsborough, Darren Hall, Iain Moir, Mairead Platt

A Burscough-based independent distributor of catering equipment has been acquired in a multimillion-pound deal by Aureus Acquisitions.

The Ilford-based firm’s deal for KitchEquip was facilitated by the debt advisory arm Leonard Curtis.

Formed in 1993, KitchEquip has many long-standing relationships with restaurants, hotel and bar chains, universities and colleges, hospitals and sports stadia, offering a full service including the supply of kitchen equipment and appliances, utensils, crockery and glassware as well as the design, build and installation of bespoke, fully-fitted kitchens.

The recent buyout is the latest big money move made by Aureus – an acquisitive investment company with a buy-and-build strategy to form a diverse portfolio of SME businesses.

The acquisition involved two lenders which added to the complexities of the transaction but has been delivered to ensure the continued involvement and cooperation from the existing shareholders.

Aureus CEO Sam Daughtry said focus will be placed on KitchEquip “for a short time” to “ensure the team, customers, suppliers and all of our other stakeholders are comfortable with the change of ownership.”

Shaun Hyland, debt advisory director at Leonard Curtis, said: “It was a pleasure working with Sam and the Aureus team.”

PM+M, the Blackburn and Bury-based chartered accountancy, business advisory and financial planning group, also acted in the deal for KitchEquip. Vendor, Darren Hall, will remain in the company in his new role as managing director, while shareholder, Iain Moir, plans to retire.

Ryan Bilsborough, corporate finance manager at PM+M, worked closely with Kitchequip’s shareholders. Jane Parry, head of tax at PM+M, provided full tax support, while Ross Uttley, assistant manager in the accounting team, delivered accountancy and due diligence support services.

Iain Moir, Kitchequip’s managing director, said: “We are very proud of what we, and the superb Kitchequip team have achieved in developing a tremendous platform for Aureus to build from.”

Darren Hall said: “I am looking forward to taking over the reins from Iain, who made the company what it is today and wish him all the best for his well deserved retirement.”

Ryan Bilsborough said: “It has been a pleasure to assist the vendors in the sale of their shares to Aureus Acquisitions.”

Independent law firm, Brabners, provided legal advice to the shareholders of Kitchequip. Mairead Platt, senior associate in the Brabners corporate team, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with Iain and Darren, alongside PM+M, to help facilitate a deal which will allow Iain to retire while giving Darren the opportunity to contribute to an exciting new phase of growth as part of Aureus Acquisitions.”

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