Industry & Business

Pratt family sells Avoca to US catering giant Aramark

Pratt family sells Avoca to US catering giant Aramark

November 12
10:28 2015

avocaThe Pratt family behind the Avoca chain of luxury retail outlets and cafés have agreed to sell US catering group Aramark for a price rumoured to be upwards of €60 million.

Aramark plan to “internationalise” the brand which raises the prospect of eventual expansion into the US market.

The deal is subject to approval from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, owing to Aramark Ireland’s extensive catering interests in this country. Aramark operates in 23 countries overall.

Simon Pratt, the managing director and second generation of Pratts to run the business will retain his current role and he will also join the senior management team of Aramark Ireland. His siblings, Ivan and Vanessa, will remain involved in Avoca along with his parents and founders of the brand Donald and Hilary Pratt.

“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. “Aramark provides us with the corporate structures, the global reach and the resources to reach our fullest potential and to continue to grow both in Ireland and internationally.”

Avoca, which was founded as a textiles business from the back of solicitor Donald Pratt’s car in the 1970s, has grown to incorporate luxury retail outlets and cafés in 11 locations in Ireland.

It also includes the Avoca@Home catering business. Avoca boosted profits last year by 70 percent as many Irish consumers reacquainted themselves with luxury goods with the ending of the economic downturn.

The group recorded a rise in sales of €1 million to almost €59 million in the year to the end of January 2015, while net profits rose to €2.2 million.

Buying a luxury retail brand is a new departure for Aramark, which has more than 120,000 staff worldwide.

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