FTSE 100 caterer Compass Group is reportedly in advanced talks to buy competitor CH&Co, the go-to hospitality provider for Kew Gardens and the Royal Opera House.
Compass, which provided hospitality at the London Olympics and has an annual turnover just shy of £2bn, is said to be putting the finishing touches to a deal worth north of £400m, according to Sky News.
CH&Co, which also counts as clients the Royal Academy of Arts, the Southbank Centre and Hampton Court Palace, has been owned by private equity firm Equistone since 2019.
If the takeover goes ahead, it would be Compass’s largest acquisition since 2019, when it picked up the Nordic caterer Fazer Food Services for €475m.
The mooted acquisition would also mark a dramatic turnaround for Compass.
Less than four years ago the group was forced to raise £2bn from shareholders and lay off thousands of staff members to get through the coronavirus pandemic, which wiped off nearly 50 per cent of its valuation practically overnight.
Compass and CH&Co did not respond to a request for comment. Equistone declined to comment.