CH&Co merges with HCM Group

CH&Co, parent company of event agencies including Ampersand, Chester Boyd and ITA, has announced plans to merge with the Host Catermasters Group (HCM Group).

CH&Co's chairman Tim Jones, founder Robyn Jones OBE and CEO Bill Toner
CH&Co's chairman Tim Jones, founder Robyn Jones OBE and CEO Bill Toner

The new combined business will be called the CH&Co Group and will be headed up by HCM’s CEO Bill Toner, who will now be Group CEO. CH&Co’s co-founders, Robyn and Tim Jones, will continue in their previous roles as founder and chairman respectively. The existing executive management teams of both CH&Co and HCM will remain largely the same but Stuart Lawson, CH&Co’s current group chief executive, will leave the business in due course.

The deal gives the newly merged CH&Co Group a turnover of nearly £200m and a headcount of 4,500, providing services to more than 400 operations across the UK and Ireland.

The group states that the deal has come together due to the competitiveness of the industry where ‘consolidation is the perfect answer’ for mid-sized companies competing against larger companies.

Toner said: "This merger between CH&Co and HCM Group enables both companies to combine their assets and talent and have the financial strength to compete even more vigorously. We are so much stronger together but although we’re now a bigger company, we’re still made up of a number of smaller, well-established, high-calibre brands focussed on providing excellent food and service, and with a reputation for looking after clients and customers. We cover the spectrum from consumer and fully commercial to fixed cost catering for some of the UK’s leading brands and organisations across the business, charity, leisure, education and healthcare sectors."

Jones added: "Both organisations have excellent client retention records and we have a very experienced management team across our new company with in-depth experience of mergers and acquisitions, and post-deal integration. We’re very confident that this merger will go smoothly and both companies will become even stronger as one entity."

CH&Co and HCM have a combined £42.8m achieved in new sales and retention since January this year, including £19.6m in new deals and £23.2m in retained contracts.


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