OpEx Awards 22: EMEA Lower mid-market winner – The Riverside Company

A series of add-on acquisitions helped Riverside expand the operations and geographical footprint of foodservice spare parts business REPA Group.

REPA Group is a distributor of spare parts for professional foodservice customers in Europe, offering solutions across the catering, coffee and vending, refrigeration and household sectors. The Riverside Company invested in REPA Group in October 2016 and sold the company a little over five years later.

During its investment period, Riverside undertook an ambitious expansion plan focused on making REPA Group a leading distributor across the European market and beyond. This proved to be a strong strategy – by the time Riverside exited, REPA Group had integrated six add-on acquisitions in Italy, Spain, the UK, Austria and Australia. Today, REPA Group includes German spare parts specialist GEV, Italian companies LF and ATEL, French supplier EPGC and UK brand Commercial Catering Spares.

However, geography was not the only focus for Riverside. The firm supported REPA Group in establishing new product categories, including coffee, household and vending, and it increased the business’s warehouse capacity.

Technology served as an additional value-creation lever. Riverside invested in automation, installed a new computerised warehouse system for faster delivery speeds, and introduced a group-wide enterprise resource planning system to improve efficiency and customer experience.


Add-on acquisitions


Employees at exit

With Riverside’s backing, the business also took steps to establish ESG best practice and policies, and introduced initiatives to strengthen cooperation between the group’s various divisions and geographies following each acquisition.

REPA Group was acquired in January 2022 by PT Holdings, the parent company of Parts Town, a US-based parts distributor for the foodservice industry backed by PE firm Berkshire Partners.

At the time of Riverside’s exit, REPA Group had more than 700 employees across 13 locations internationally.

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