US multinational confirms purchase of Ireland's Avoca Group

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The publicly-quoted US food service and catering firm, Aramark, has confirmed it is to purchase the Avoca group of Irish upmarket retail outlets and cafes, from the Pratt family who founded the company nearly 40 years ago.

Avoca, who operate 11 stores in Ireland, generated revenues of €59m in the year to last January and recorded net profits of €2.2m.

The purchase price has not been disclosed but is said to have been close to €60m

The managing director of Avoca, Simon Pratt and two of his siblings are to remain with the group in their current senior management positions.

“As a family we are very excited at this latest development for Avoca and believe that it is the right decision for us as a business and a family, at the right time and with the right partner,” Simon Pratt said, commenting on the deal.

Aramark is one of Ireland’s largest multinational companies employing more than 4,000 people at more than 400 sites across the country.

It is best known for its contract catering division which operates in venues ranging from Croke Park to major hospitals, but it also has property and environmental divisions.

Aramark says Avoca marks a strategic investment and that it plans to expand the brand - adding, "we have a huge opportunity to internationalise a truly Irish culinary dining experience."

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