Interest is growing in UK foodservice company Brake Brothers. Dutch supermarket Ahold and North American foodservice group Sysco are both thought to be considering making bids for the company.
South African service and investment group Bidvest has already sought consent from the UK Office of Fair Trading for a possible merger or acquisition. Bids are expected to be in the region of GBP420 million.
Bidvest might well have regulatory problems, though. Bidvest already has a strong foodservice business in the UK and if its bid for Brake Bros were successful, the combined company would have around half of the UK wholesale frozen food market.
Sysco is seen as a more likely buyer. It is the largest foodservice company in North America, but has no operations outside the region. It has a strong balance sheet and would certainly be in a good position to purchase Brake Bros.
Brake Bros, the UK’s largest supplier of frozen food to restaurants, put itself up for sale last month. The move was prompted by the decision of chairman and founder Frank Brake to retire.