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Contract Caterers Merge to Establish Market Leading Group


The deal, which was structured and project managed by BTG McInnes Corporate Finance, funded by Yorkshire Bank and supported by the existing Caterplus investors, led by YFM Private Equity, was completed simultaneously with the acquisition of Newcastle-based Hospitality Catering Services Ltd, immediately establishing a nationwide presence for the new Group.

Taylor Shaw’s managing partner, Peter Taylor, will join the Group executive management team as a shareholder alongside the existing Caterplus management team, led by Chairman Vince Pearson and Managing Director Jim Lovett, and their investors.

The combined businesses have a proforma turnover in excess of £35m and, following the transaction, now employ more than 1,600 staff across over 350 educational establishments, care homes, welfare shelters and office/factory canteens throughout the UK.

“This announcement is the culmination of months of hard work to find and structure a deal with a like-minded catering business as part of our long-term strategic growth plan” said Vince Pearson.

“Both Taylor Shaw and Hospitality Catering Services have strong management, excellent workforces and high quality contracts that will provide a robust platform for further growth” he added.

The Group will continue to trade under its three separate brand names, all of which have strong reputations for fresh food and quality service in their target markets.

“Caterplus has grown rapidly since its £4m buy-in management buy-out last February, and to have grown both organically and now, by this merger, is testament to a clear strategy that should deliver more acquisitions in the medium term” said Andy Miller of BTG McInnes, who advised Caterplus on the transactions and the 2007 buy-out.

“The three entities have a very strong strategic and cultural fit, with the merger resulting in an organisation that has a good balance of contracts across the education, care & welfare and business & industry sectors and a significant geographic spread across the UK” he added.

Peter Wood of Pinsent Masons led the team who advised Caterplus on the legal aspects of the transactions, Jenny Cochrane of Addleshaw Goddard provided legal advice to Taylor Shaw and Mark Davies of Cobbetts to Yorkshire Bank. Ruth Cherry led the Yorkshire Bank team and Nigel Barraclough of YFM Private Equity represented the investors.


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Julie Palmer

Regional Managing Partner

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Julie is a law graduate who qualified with Price Waterhouse in 1994. Julie joined Smith & Williamson in 1997 and became a partner in 2001. With Mike Stevenson, Julie set up Middleton Partners offices in Salisbury and Southampton, both of which are now part of Begbies Traynor.

Julie is a member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association and is a Fellow of The Association of Business Recovery Professionals. Julie deals with all aspects of Corporate Recovery and turnaround work and takes all form of personal insolvency appointments.

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