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Close Brothers backs Universal buyin

The management team has also acquired Durban & Partners Ltd.

Close Brothers Growth Capital (CBGC), has financed the acquisition of Universal Food, a specialist supplier of dry goods to the catering sector, by Unifood Ltd.

The acquisition was led by John Durban and Nick Miller of Unifood and involved the acquisition of Durban & Partners Ltd, a strategic advisory and sales and marketing agency which specialises in food products mainly from Mediterranean countries.

The transaction was financed exclusively by a CBGC funding package It is the company’s fourth transaction since the recent completion of its £50m fundraising.

Alan Pepper, associate director of CBGC, who will become a non-executive director of Unifood, said: “Universal is a well-known and respected business in the catering supply trade with a superb customer list and has great opportunities for growth.”

Universal has a customer base of hotels which includes The Ritz, The Dorchester and Sodexho (formerly Gardner Merchant).