This firm claims to be the leading provider of food services in Britain and France, serving pubs, restaurants, schools and hospitals. Sales reached £1,555m in 2004. Last year it acquired the chilled distribution arm of its smaller rival Peter’s Food Service. The company was founded in 1958 by Peter and William Brake. It listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1986 but was bought out by the American private-equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in 2002 for £434m. Bruno Deschamps, a partner of this firm, took over as chairman and chief executive in April.

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Company details
Year2005
Rank18
CompanyBrakes Group
ActivityFood distributor
LocationKent
Sales £m1,555
Profit £m32
Year endMar 04
Principal shareholdersClayton, Dubilier & Rice
Staff8,946
Founded1958
Websitewww.brakesgroup.com

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* Supplied by company † Annualised figure