A provider of refrigeration maintenance services to chains such as Nando’s, Greggs and Mitchells & Butlers insists it is ready for the “next stage” of its development after being bought out by a larger rival.
Flowrite Refrigeration will now operate as part of the Airedale Group following a takeover that creates one of the largest national maintenance operations in the UK.
Airedale is understood to view Kent-based Flowrite as the ideal addition to its catering services offer due to its expertise in refrigeration, cellar cooling, remote monitoring and air-conditioning.
Flowrite CEO, Tod Harrison, who has led the business from a strong regional provider into a national outfit, believes it is the right deal for the business, which employs 100 engineers.
“We are very proud of what we have achieved as a team over the last three years with the support from our investment partner, Foresight. However we all believed the time was right for the next stage of our development.
“I don’t think there is any doubt that the team at Airedale is one of the most professional and entrepreneurial operating in the sector today and their track record is second to none.
“As a business they buy, invest and support their acquisitions, this philosophy of building a group of highly complementary brands that are specialists and leaders in their respective sectors but also work closely together, was a compelling consideration and a key reason we chose to partner with Airedale for the next part of our journey.”
The existing management will remain in place under Mr Harrison – who joins the Airedale board – and will be tasked with developing the company’s day to day operations and growing its customer base.
Airedale Group’s CEO, Rob Bywell, said: “This is a significant and exciting investment and one that creates a compelling proposition. The acquisition of Flowrite coupled with our existing service operation, creates the largest specialist maintenance platform operating in the UK hospitality sector today, with a combined total of over 200 service technicians.”
Mr Bywell said the acquisition reflects Airedale’s desire to provide operators with access to the service and maintenance support they need.
“We understand that operators are under increasing pressure to reduce investment cost and identify initiatives where life-cost and downtime on critical equipment can be reduced. As the leading specialists in this sector, we have the scale, the know-how and systems and we can demonstrate that we can achieve these objectives.”
Airedale already owns South Coast Catering, a specialist in commercial kitchen maintenance based in Dorset.