Family owned catering firm exchanges hands for £339m

Andrew Nisbet

One of Bristol’s best known firms  has been sold for £339m after regulators approved the deal.

Bunzl’s £339m takeover of catering equipment firm Nisbets has been completed after it was cleared by Ireland’s competition regulator.

Bunzl announced plans to take an 80% stake in Nisbets, subject to clearance in Britain and Ireland earlier this year.

Frank van Zanten, chief executive of Bunzl, said: “I am delighted that we have completed the acquisition of Nisbets, a high-quality business with an experienced and well-respected management team.

“Their digital expertise and market-leading range of own brand products, will further strengthen our position in the catering equipment sector. We welcome our new colleagues at Nisbets to the Bunzl family as we continue to focus on our consistent compounding strategy to grow both organically and through consolidation of our fragmented markets.”

Andrew Nisbet, whose business had become a multinational distributor to the food-service sector, founded the company in 1983.

The deal is expected to make his family one of the wealthiest in the South West.

Bunzl, which has a market capitalisation of close to £11bn, has grown both organically and through a series of acquisitions in recent years.

During the last three years it has spent an average of £425m on buying smaller companies in its sector, and it is run by a management team held in high regard in the City.

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