AiP acquires Contract Dining Company

AiP acquires Contract Dining Company

Alliance in Partnership (AiP) has acquired Kent-based school caterer The Contract Dining Company, expanding its sites into the South East.

The Contract Dining Company was established in 2004 and provides catering services to 53 schools in Kent, delivering more than 8,000 meals a day. A small yet impactful company, the Headcorn, Maidstone based Contract Dining Company has 231 employees and has a turnover of £4m.

The company’s management team, including founder Anne Winn (pictured third left with operations director Tracey Spellman), will remain with the company following the deal.

“The addition of The Contract Dining Company to the AiP family will enable us to further strengthen our presence in the South East, giving us a strong foothold in Kent following our recent contract wins in London,” said Paul Rogers, managing director of AiP. “There’s also a close cultural fit between the two businesses as we both share a focus on providing fresh, healthy and nutritious meals for schools.

“The combined group will now serve over 400 schools and colleges throughout the UK and will have combined sales of £33m, making us a major player in the education catering sector.”

The acquisition comes after private equity house Key Capital Partners made a multi-million-pound investment in AiP in 2014 which saw KCP partner Owen Trotter join the AiP board.

Trotter said: “The business has already seen revenue grow by 120% since 2014 as its commitment to the provision of quality, freshly-cooked and nutritious meals for the education sector has chimed with public concerns. As a firmly established leader in the field, the company is well-positioned to extend its offering across the UK.”

Over the last 19 years, AiP has expanded from its Oldbury, West Midlands base to provide over 75,000 meals to schools across the country.

The Contract Dining Company won two EDUcatering Excellence Awards in 2015.