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UK Sparks: Mitie Group Sells Catering Arm For Up To £85m

Edison

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Outsourcing company Mitie Group has confirmed that it is selling its catering and hospitality arm to specialist caterer CH&CO for up to £85m in cash. The disposal of Mitie Catering will be accompanied by the formation of a new strategic partnership between Mitie and CH&CO, ensuring that the Gather & Gather catering offer remains exclusive to Mitie clients.

Mitie says the sale of the operation, which employs more than 3,600 people, follows a strategy which concluded that its long-term future would be “better served by being part of a larger specialist catering group”.

Chief executive Phil Bentley says Gather & Gather is a “niche player” in the £4bn UK contract catering market and its combination with CH&CO will release funds for reinvestment and balance sheet strengthening.

Wound care company ConvaTec Group has appointed John McAdam as chairman from September 30, when new chief executive Karim Bitar will also arrive. Interim executive chairman Rick Anderson will step down and resume his role as a non-executive director.

Former ICI chief executive Dr McAdam recently stepped down as Rentokil Initial chairman and is due to retire as United Utilities Group chairman on December 31.

LondonMetric Property has agreed to purchase and fund a new 232,000 sq ft distribution warehouse adjacent to junction 36 of the M62 motorway near Goole, Yorkshire, for £24m.

The warehouse has been pre-let to speciality chemical company Croda International at an annual rent of £1.3m, giving a yield of 5.2%. Finally, a new joint venture between self-storage group SafestoreHoldings and Carlyle European Real Estate Fund is to buy M3 Self Storage, which operates six storage sites in Amsterdam and Haarlem in the Netherlands. Safestore says it will invest in a 20% equity stake for about €5m and will provide management services to the joint venture. Separately, Safestore has completed the acquisition of a 34,000 sq ft freehold store near Heathrow Airport from Rockpool Investments for £6.5m.

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