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Monday, 17 February

Airedale Buys Flowrite To Become Largest Hospitality Maintainer

Airedale

The Airedale Group, the specialists in the installation and servicing of catering equipment UK has acquired Flowrite Refrigeration Holdings Limited.

Commenting on the acquisition, which was announced on Monday January 13, Airedale Group’s CEO Rob Bywell said: “This is a significant investment and one that creates a compelling proposition. The acquisition of Flowrite coupled with our existing service operation, creates the largest specialist maintenance platform operating in the UK hospitality sector today, with a combined total of over two hundred service technicians.”

The Airedale Group is owned by Rockpool - the investment company focuses on profitable and growing companies that are still under the radar of mainstream private equity funds.

Bywell added: “Following the acquisition, Airedale’s offer encompasses design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of everything in the commercial kitchen throughout the UK, which we believe to be a first in the UK market.”

 

Flowrite

Flowrite is a substantial operator in the refrigeration and air conditioning service market. The company has a large customer base which includes some of the UK’s best-known hospitality and retail brands. Flowrite’s has a professional team of one hundred engineers based throughout the UK and boasts technology platforms that allow the company to maximise the utilisation of their human, transportation and spares assets.

Flowrite, under the leadership of their CEO Tod Harrison, has grown revenues through a combination of attracting new customers and expanding its geographic footprint – transitioning the business from a strong regional provider to a national player. Flowrite was recently awarded National Contractor of the Year in the Annual RAC Cooling Awards.

Flowrite’s proprietary Cooler Response technology provides customers with real-time remote monitoring of their assets, enabling customers to identify and address issues before they occur.

 

Next stage

Harrison told ThisWeekinFM: “We are very proud of what we have achieved as a team over the last three years with the support from our investment partner, Foresight. However we all believed the time was right for the next stage of our development. I don’t think there is any doubt that the team at Airedale is one of the most professional and entrepreneurial operating in the sector today. As a business they buy, invest and support their acquisitions. This philosophy of building a Group of complementary brands that are specialists and leaders in their respective sectors but also work closely together, was a compelling consideration and a key reason we chose to partner with Airedale for the next part of our journey.”

 

Open to more

Airedale's Bywell added: “This is an exciting development for all our combined staff. The existing Flowrite management will remain in place under Tod and will continue to develop their day to day operations, grow the staff and their customer base.

“We have the capacity and appetite to make further investments both in our current services and operations, as well as seeking complementary businesses as potential acquisitions. We intend to continue to deploy capital where we believe it aligns to our plan and long term objectives.”

 

Foresight

The Foresight Group is an independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager. Since Foresight made their original investment, Flowrite has more than doubled revenues. Foresight's exit is for a yet undisclosed amount.

Picture: Flowrite has been acquired by Airedale.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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