We’re pleased to have advised luxury event caterer Rocket Food (Rocket) on its sale to premium hospitality brand Restaurant Associates, which is part of Compass Group UK & Ireland (Compass Group), that provides catering, cleaning, and facilities management services in more than 6,000 locations across the country.
The acquisition will increase Rocket and Restaurant Associates’ presence in the luxury hospitality sector across the UK. The transaction will also support Rocket with developing its sustainability and supply chain credentials and provide the business with access to Compass Group’s training and apprenticeship schemes.
Based in Battersea, Rocket caters for private and corporate events, and is a preferred supplier at many of London’s most prestigious venues, including Kensington and Hampton Court Palaces, the V&A, the British Museum, and the Tate Modern.
The company was founded by brother and sister duo Michael Symonds and Caroline Hall in 2000, and today it employs 50 people.
Restaurant Associates operates across some of the UK’s most popular visitor attractions, including Glyndebourne, Hatfield House and Hever Castle. The brand is part of Compass Group, an international company that provides catering, cleaning, and facilities management services in more than 6,000 locations across the UK & Ireland.
Our team – led by FRP Corporate Finance Partner Jon Dodge and Directors Ryan Symonds and Matt Field – acted as lead sell-side advisers. We led all negotiations with the acquirer, supported the company through the due diligence process, and provided tax advice to the shareholders.
Jon Dodge, FRP Corporate Finance Partner, said: “The deal represents an exciting new partnership for Rocket Food and Restaurant Associates, and closely aligns two organisations renowned for their passion and commitment to providing the highest quality food.
“The corporate luxury events sector is experiencing rapid growth and is expected to generate £480 billion by 2030. With the strength of its offering and through its sale to Restaurant Associates, Rocket is well positioned to capitalise on this opportunity. We are delighted to have represented the owners of Rocket and congratulate them on having built a fabulous business.”
Michael Symonds, Managing Director at Rocket Food, added: “Our team at Rocket has a passion for exceptional food, creativity and service, all values that we share with Restaurant Associates. The new partnership will be a formidable offering for the clients we are proud to serve.
“We first met the team at FRP Corporate Finance when they conducted a company valuation for the purposes of our Enterprise Management Incentive Share Option arrangements. We were impressed with the depth of their experience and felt they really understood the dynamics within our family-owned business, so it was a no-brainer for the team to support in the sale of our business.
“Jon’s skill as a negotiator, his ability to find equitable solutions, to give pragmatic advice and to explain complex issues was invaluable to the shareholders. The team at FRP Corporate Finance was superb – we are extremely grateful to them for achieving the outcome we were looking for.”
Our FRP Corporate Finance team has supported Rocket Food’s Directors for several years. Rocket Food recognised that we have an experienced team that could support the business through all aspects of the transaction, and to provide the hands-on advice needed from an experienced, trusted and specialist adviser.
Consumer & Retail
Selling a business
With the strength of its offering and through its sale to Restaurant Associates, Rocket is well positioned to capitalise on this opportunity.Jon Dodge Corporate Finance