First Choice Group, the UK’s largest supplier of spare parts for the catering industry, has been acquired by PT Holdings LLC, the parent company of US giant Parts Town.
Parts Town describes itself as the world’s biggest distributor of OEM parts for the foodservice industry and will use the takeover to expand into the UK market.
The deal gives First Choice access to the largest in-stock inventory of OEM parts anywhere in the world and could open up new avenues of business for the company in Europe, as well as potential new partnerships with global brands.
Director John Whitehouse insisted the decision to sell the business was a “difficult one” but said it had been taken with the future very much in mind to benefit First Choice Group customers and manufacturers.
“The acquisition of First Choice Group by Parts Town, a $300m (£247m) distribution company, takes us to the next level and will enhance the customer experience,” he said.
“It’s very exciting. It will grow our business immeasurably and expand our stock and service capabilities to even greater heights. It also opens up the very real possibility of First Choice Group entering new markets, something we’ve long had the ambition to do.”
First Choice Group began trading in 1999 and has established itself as a one-stop-shop for catering and refrigeration spares. In May the company will be relocating operations to a new multi-million pound state-of-the-art building on Staffordshire’s Kingswood Lakeside site.
The company made a £1.7m profit on sales of £27.6m for the 12 months to 30 June 2016, according to accounts filed at Companies House.
First Choice Director Carl Bate, added: “We’ve worked ever so hard to achieve our success and the status that comes from that success. Now we can look to the future with real enthusiasm and excitement.”
First Choice Group will continue to operate under its existing brand with John Whitehouse as managing director and Carl Bate as director of procurement and logistics.
Chicago-based Parts Town was established in 1987 as a restaurant equipment parts distribution business designed to support local field service companies with the parts required to support their customers.
It is now the dominant industry force in spare parts and has been ranked as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in North America.
Major chains and leading manufacturers have selected Parts Town as their primary or exclusive parts distribution partner as a result of its absolute commitment to OEM parts, unique technology and superior customer experience.
Steve Snower, CEO at PT Holdings, said: “This partnership further strengthens PT Holding’s market leadership in genuine OEM parts distribution. John, Carl and the whole First Choice team have built an extraordinary business. We respect and appreciate the integrity with which the business is run. This new partnership enhances our ability to bring unique value to our manufacturer and customer partners.”
The value of the acquisition was not disclosed.