Rubicon Partners Acquires Airedale Catering Equipment Group Limited

Rubicon Partners (Rubicon) has acquired Airedale Catering Equipment Group Limited (Airedale), a UK specialist in services to the commercial kitchen and catering market.

Based in Bradford, West Yorkshire, Airedale provides a fully integrated end-to-end solution including design, supply, manufacture and installation of professional kitchens and maintenance services.

Airedale was established by Peter Bywell and John Rhodes in 1985. In 2013, in the context of a management succession, Rob Bywell led a management buyout with the support of Rockpool Investments (Rockpool). The business has expanded rapidly over the last seven years, including through the acquisition of two service businesses which today make it the UK’s largest independent service provider to the professional kitchen market with over 200 engineers.
Rob Bywell and the Airedale team will remain as shareholders in the business in their existing executive capacities, while Rockpool and some minority shareholders will be selling all of their shares. Rubicon will work with Rob and the management team in a close partnership to develop and grow the capabilities of the business further, with a particular focus on expanding adjacent product and sector service offering, exploiting technology in support of service offering and starting an international expansion.

Rubicon was advised by PWC (financial and tax), CIL Management Consultants (commercial and customer referencing), AON (insurance), RSK (ESG) and Proskauer Rose (legal). Debt facilities were provided by HSBC who were advised by DLA (legal). Airedale’s management team were advised by Schofield Sweeney (legal).

Clearwater International acted as the lead corporate finance adviser to the shareholders and management and KPMG provided vendor due diligence. Rockpool was also advised by Stephenson Harwood (legal).