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EXCLUSIVE: Italian combi oven brand Unox buys its UK agent

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Unox SpA, the Italian combi and bakery oven maker, has bought out its UK agent for an undisclosed sum.

Unox UK Ltd was set up in 2004 by husband and wife team Gary and Lisa Nunn, after they began importing the company’s equipment into the UK. It is now one of the leading cooking equipment suppliers in the country.

The acquisition allows Unox SpA to expand its global network of offices and subsidiaries, and means the UK becomes the 37th country in which it employs people whose role is to provide service and support to professional foodservice operators.

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Nicola Michelon, CEO at Unox SpA, explained the rationale for the agreement: “The purpose of the Unox management team is to ensure that a customer based in any corner of the world receives the same attention and service as the one operating in Padua, where the company is based.

“We strongly encourage our people to do whatever it takes to exceed customers’ expectations. By doing so, in the last 10 years we have quadrupled the sales of the company and in the next five we plan to maintain the pace. The acquisition of Unox UK will allow us to provide the financial, technological and management support to ensure that our growth in the UK will exceed our growth in the rest of the world, offering a credible alternative to the marketplace.”

The Nunns are set to stay on in their respective roles and will have 100% backing and support from Italy.

Mr Nunn (below) said he expected the sale to result in more investment being directed to the UK market, which could include a new headquarters with a larger warehouse and development kitchen.

“The purchase of the company by Unox SpA will strengthen our position and allow us to expand with financial, technical and marketing support direct from Italy,” he said.

“It has been a fantastic journey so far and we have both enjoyed making many new friends along the way. The early days were very difficult as the brand was not known in the UK but some of the distributors believed in both us and the product and we are eternally grateful to those who joined us on the journey. We must also thank our fantastic staff, past and present, without whom we would not have been able to succeed.”

Mr Nunn said the change in ownership would also strengthen Unox UK’s relationships with other group subsidiaries.

“To be a part of the larger family of Unox is indeed a huge honour. We cannot wait to be involved with the future developments of such a great and innovative company,” he added.

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Andrew Seymour

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