Reading-based hospitality caterer CH&CO has completed a refinancing and fundraise with its existing lenders and shareholders.
The proceeds of the fundraise, when combined with the facilities provided by the lenders, ensure the group has a strong and sustainable liquidity position to support the business as it exits lockdown and builds back up over the coming months.
CH&CO is led by CEO Bill Toner and chairman Tim Jones. It is majority-owned by Toner, Jones and the management team. Equistone Partners Europe invested in the group in May 2019 through its €2.8 billion sixth fund, Equistone Partners Europe Fund VI, and owns a minority shareholding. LGT Private Debt provided Unitranche financing and NatWest provided Super Senior RCF financing.
CH&CO employs over 10,000 people at nearly 1,100 locations across the UK and Ireland.
Bill Toner said: “We as a management team have absolute confidence CH&CO will weather this storm and we have been very pleased that our lenders and Equistone have shown the same confidence in us and our business. I am also sincerely grateful for the ongoing support of our clients, partners and people. It is through this support that we look forward so positively to the future.”
Dominic Geer, senior partner at Equistone and CH&CO board member, said: “CH&CO has performed extremely well since we invested in the business last year, and we have been impressed by how quickly and effectively the CH&CO team has adapted to deal with the challenges of lockdown. Equistone has the capability to provide long-term support to the businesses in which we invest, and we are pleased to have completed the fundraise in partnership with the other stakeholders in the business. The business now has the headroom to manage a gradual return to normality over a prolonged period. We look forward to continuing to work with Bill and the team to support CH&CO’s future plans.”
CH&CO holds a Royal Warrant for the provision of catering services to Her Majesty The Queen and provides services to a wide range of workplaces, schools, venues and destinations including Historic Royal Palaces and Kew Gardens.
CH&CO was advised by Marlborough Partners (debt advisor), Travers Smith (Legal) and PwC (tax) and the lenders were advised by Hogan Lovells (legal).