Luxury event caterer Rocket sold to Restaurant Associates

15 November 2022 2 min. read

Rocket Food has been purchased by hospitality brand Restaurant Associates for an undisclosed fee. The luxury event caterer was advised on its sale by FRP Corporate Finance.

The corporate luxury events sector is experiencing rapid growth and is expected to generate £480 billion by 2030, according to a release from FRP Corporate Finance. Rocket Food (Rocket) is well positioned to take advantage of this demand, making it an attractive prospect to acquirers.

Established in 2000 by brother and sister Michael Symonds and Caroline Hall, the firm is a luxury caterer based in London, and has built a reputation for exquisite food, creativity and outstanding client service. As it looks to boost its own proposition in that market, premium hospitality brand Restaurant Associates – part of Compass Group UK & Ireland – has moved to purchase it.

Luxury event caterer Rocket sold to Restaurant Associates

Restaurant Associates 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. Meanwhile, Rocket will also gain support for developing its sustainability and supply chain credentials, and providing the business with access to Compass Group’s training and apprenticeship schemes.

Rocket was supported through the process by professionals from FRP Corporate Finance. The FRP team initially conducted a company valuation for the purposes of Rocket’s Enterprise Management Incentive Share Option arrangements, and impressed enough that the client felt it was “a no-brainer for the team to support in the sale of our business.”

Michael Symonds, Managing Director at Rocket Food, said, “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. [FRP Partner] Jon Dodge’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.”

Led by Dodge and Directors Ryan Symonds and Matt Field, the FRP team acted as lead sell-side advisers. It led all negotiations with the acquirer, supported the company through the due diligence process, and provided tax advice to the shareholders.

Dodge added, “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.”