Space Catering (UK) Ltd, the holding company of Space Catering Equipment, Space Interior Contracts, and Holmes Catering Equipment Solutions has announced that Nisbets PLC have taken a controlling stake in the company.
Ian Bidmead, who has been Managing Director of the company since 2012 will continue in his post along with Louise Chuter and all of the senior management team. Mike Mellor, founder of the business in 2000, will leave in the Summer this year. Mike, who suffered with health problems in 2013 and has taken more of a back seat role since then, commented: “I am delighted that Nisbets have invested in Space and taken over my shareholding; I cannot think of a more perfect partner to support Ian and the team to take the business forward. After thirty years in the catering equipment industry, it is the right time for me to exit and I leave the company in great shape, in good hands and with the backing of one of the industry’s leading companies.”
The last 4 years have been transformational for Space, with the addition of a manufacturing and interior fit out capability to complement its catering and furniture businesses. During this time, turnover has doubled with Space becoming one of the leading turnkey design and build companies in the UK.
Ian Bidmead said: “It will be largely ‘business as usual’ for customers, staff and suppliers alike, as this is an ‘arms length’ acquisition, but we are fortunate to have the backing of such a large and respected organisation as Nisbets behind us, and all of the team are extremely positive about the change. My key managers have known a deal was on the horizon for a while, and have been fully committed to it. They will all continue in their current roles. I am very pleased that the process has been concluded and we can start making plans for the future.”
“The synergies that this deal gives to both businesses are significant,” continued Bidmead: “The scale and infrastructure that Nisbets have, will really help take us to the next level and can only enhance the value proposition that we can offer our customers. It is a very exciting time for the company ”
Space Group acquired Holmes Catering Equipment Solutions at the end of 2014 and has turned the company around from loss-making to profit in the last year. Holmes’ MD, Steve Whittaker will also remain in post as part of the senior management team. He added: “The Holmes’ business has been transformed since Space took over and this development can only improve things further, giving us another in-house element to our supply chain.”
Paul McMahon, MD of Nisbets commented: “We are very excited by this deal at Nisbets. We see this giving added value service to both sets of customers, which can only be good for business.”
The Space business will continue to trade from its headquarters in Gloucester with manufacturing at Holmes Catering Equipment Solutions in York.