This food distribution group can trace its history to 1958, when three brothers established a business to supply poultry to caterers. Today the Kent company employs more than 9,000 staff and claims to be Britain’s leading supplier to the catering industry, with customers ranging from schools to hotels. The group consists of the original Brakes brand and a number of smaller specialist businesses, including M&J Seafood, a fresh-fish supplier, and the baker Country Choice. Bain Capital backed a £1.3 billion secondary buyout from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in 2007, led by chief executive Frank McKay. Last year the company acquired Woodward Foodservice, which distributes food to the catering trade. Sales topped £2,048m in 2008.

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Company details
CompanyBrakes Group
ActivityFood distributor
Sales £m2,048
Profit £m140
Year endDec 08
Principal shareholdersBain Capital (80%), management (20%)

If applicable:

* Supplied by company † Annualised figure