ENTIER

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Entier, Scotland’s largest independent privately-owned catering company, is preparing to grab a bigger slice of international markets after BGF (Business Growth Fund) served up a £6.5m investment.

The Westhill-based company in the North East of Scotland plans to expand its overseas operations, building on its existing work at 38 remote locations in 23 countries.  The business already has a presence in Australia, Canada, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States, and last year picked up a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade.

Revenues grew by 13 per cent in the year to 30 September 2016 to £44.9m despite the industry downturn in the prices of oil and gas, with pre-tax profits rising by 72 per cent to £1.5m.

More than 4,500 people on oil and gas rigs and other remote installations around the world are served meals each day by Entier’s 760 staff, along with receiving hotel services such as cleaning, laundry, recreational & welfare services and with an emphasis on wellbeing and healthy eating.  Major clients in the offshore sector include Apache, Awilco Drilling, EnQuest, Rowan Drilling and Technip.

Chief executive Peter Bruce founded Entier in 2008 after running similar services for catering giant Compass, with Aberdeen businessman Mike Reilly, former proprietor of the Olive Tree Restaurant in Aberdeen’s west end.

Bruce said: “I’ve said in the past that I want to grow Entier into a £100m company and, with the backing of BGF, I believe we could do far better than that.

“While the price of oil and gas remains low, offshore operators are keeping a keen eye on cost, which presents opportunities for companies like Entier because we are big enough to deliver large contracts, but small enough to work with clients to offer bespoke services on their offshore installations.

“An army marches on its stomach, and we focus on delivering high quality, healthy and nutritious food to offshore workers, to play our part in improving productivity and reducing costs.”

Back onshore, Entier has developed the Fresh chain of cafés situated across Aberdeen as well as providing catering and hospitality services in 20 client offices including Stork, Helix and Archer. 

The company also recently acquired Wilde Thyme, the Perthshire-based catering firm, which runs the restaurants at Glamis Castle in Angus and the Glenturret Distillery in Perthshire, home to the Famous Grouse whisky brand.

In addition to its permanent premises, Wilde Thyme is the caterer of choice at various venues including the new Barn @ Bara Castle in Aberdeenshire & Carlowrie, Cluny and Drumlanrig castles. Wilde Thyme are the only hospitality company that can cover all of the National Trust Sites in Scotland.

Mike Sibson, head of BGF’s Aberdeen office, said: “We are most impressed by the way in which Peter Bruce and his team have differentiated themselves from their rivals.  They provide a bespoke service and build strong relationships with their clients, and the customer feedback is outstanding.

“We are delighted to be backing one of Aberdeen’s success stories, and to have the opportunity to support Peter and the team in their continued growth.”

Simmons & Company International represented the shareholders of Entier.  Nick Dalgarno, managing director of Simmons & Company, said: “Despite the backdrop of challenging market conditions, Entier has continued to demonstrate strong growth and increase their market share.  At what is an exciting time in the company’s strategic development, this transaction represents an excellent deal for BGF and the Entier shareholders, setting the company up for significant future growth”      

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