Equistone to exit stake in CH&CO for £475m enterprise value

CH&CO is a contract and hospitality service provider.

  • Compass Group is the buyer
  • Equistone invested in CH&CO in 2019
  • Equistone is an independent investment firm based in London

Equistone Partners Europe will exit its investment in CH&CO, a contract and hospitality service provider in the UK and Ireland, to Compass Group UK & Ireland.

CH&CO is headquartered in Reading, UK.

The transaction values CH&CO at an initial enterprise value of £475 million ($604.6 million; €554.8 million) and is subject to regulatory approval.

Equistone invested in CH&CO in 2019. Under Equistone’s ownership, CH&CO acquired Gather & Gather and Creativevents in 2019, Company of Cooks in 2019, Vacherin in 2020 and Blue Apple and Pabulum in 2023. The company has over 10,000 employees and has grown its annual revenues from £286 million in 2018 to around £450 million.

This latest realisation extends a period of significant exit activity for Equistone, with the firm generating around €2 billion in investor proceeds from six exits in 2023, the release said.

Equistone also supported a refinancing and fundraising with existing shareholders and lenders which strengthened CH&CO’s liquidity position during Covid-19, and simultaneously worked with the management team to restructure and optimise the company’s supply chain operations amid the disruption, according to a release.

“Since 2015, CH&CO has increased turnover and EBITDA significantly despite the considerable headwinds generated by the pandemic, which is testament to the strength of the team and the support provided to the business by all its shareholders, lenders and advisors,” said Ed Baker of Equistone.

London-based Equistone is an independent investment firm that focuses on European mid-market buyouts across six core sectors. The firm aims to invest between €25 million and over €200 million of equity.

Compass Group is a food and support services business based in Chertsey, UK.