Sodexo acquires Alliance in Partnership

Food services and facilities management giant, Sodexo has acquired Alliance in Partnership (AiP) group of companies, the specialist education caterer which includes The Contract Dining Company and Class Catering Services.

Established in 1998, AiP has grown considerably over the last few years through organic growth and acquisitions. The company has stayed true to its ethos of supplying high quality, locally sourced and seasonal meals at competitive prices, a focus shared by Sodexo.

AiP will continue to operate independently with managing director Paul Rogers continuing to lead the business and its 1,500 employees from its Birmingham head office.

Food and the dining experience at school is incredibly important with lunch times providing an important break in a busy day for students. By joining forces Sodexo and AiP will combine their resources and expertise to deliver innovative food concepts which help improve health and learning outcomes for students across the UK.

Rogers (pictured with fellow directors Sally Tyson and Angela Austin) will join a newly formed operational board which, with Sodexo’s managing director for government schools, Matt Garner, will oversee the development of Sodexo and AiP’s business in this sector. The new board will include executives from both Sodexo and AiP and will report into Sodexo’s CEO for schools and universities, Andrew Wilkinson.

Andrew Wilkinson, CEO schools and universities, Sodexo UK & Ireland, said, “We are delighted to welcome the talented and dynamic AiP team to Sodexo. The AiP impressive client base of 418 schools will strongly complement our existing schools’ business.

'The education sector presents a huge growth area for us and we have been looking to expand our presence in it for some time. Whilst we have been growing our own business organically, acquiring a company already well-established in the sector enables us to develop our scale, infrastructure and visibility.”

Paul Rogers said, “We are thrilled to be joining Sodexo. We share a similar ethos and we have a common heritage which is to serve healthy, nutritious food in a fun and welcoming environment. By joining forces with Sodexo, we believe that we can take our business to the next level and give the company and our people significant opportunities to grow.”