This food distribution giant was established in 1958 by three Brakes brothers to supply poultry to caterers. The Kent company claims it is Britain’s biggest food-distribution operation, supplying customers ranging from schools and hotels, to large caterers and service stations. Brakes also has a strong position in the French market. Bain Capital backed a £1.3 billion secondary buyout from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in 2007, led by chief executive Frank McKay, beating a rival bid from former Asda boss Archie Norman. Sales topped £1,638m in 2006.
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