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Epta strengthens UK refrigeration business with acquisition

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Richard Moran and Rachel Dean in our corporate team advised on the deal.

International group Epta, a leader in the supply of equipment and services for commercial refrigeration, has purchased a second UK business, Cold Service Group, strengthening its presence in the UK market where it has already established itself with Yorkshire-based George Barker.

Based in Hampshire, Cold Service Group specialises in the design, installation and maintenance of turnkey refrigeration and air conditioning systems. The acquisition is a significant strategic transaction for Epta positioning it as a national service provider in line with demand for UK-wide coverage. In 1999, the group acquired George Barker in Bradford, a leading supplier in the design and production of refrigerated cabinets, together with an established contracting and service and maintenance business and natural refrigerant solutions and training. The deal will enable Epta to encourage synergies between the two British brands with growth opportunities for the entire group.

The transaction completed on 1 July 2014 with Richard Moran, partner, and Rachel Dean, senior associate in the corporate team at Leeds law firm Clarion, advising Epta Service UK . BDO in Leeds provided financial due diligence.

Sergio Chiostri, chairman and managing director of Epta, said: “This agreement expands our portfolio and aims to optimise the resources used, in the frame of an expansion plan that will integrate the skills and technological know-how of our two companies.”

Rachel Dean of Clarion commented, “Having worked with George Barker for a number of years, this is great news for the continuing success of this Yorkshire business, providing synergies and strengthening the group’s position in the UK market.”

Formed in 1928, George Barker has developed a strong involvement in every aspect of retail display, evolving new technologies and solutions in terms of energy saving, design and environmental performance. It has a 19,500 sq m factory in Bradford and employs a 450-strong workforce both locally and nationally.

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Susan Reid on (01423) 56 99 99 or susan@appealpr.com