The private-equity groups Blackstone, CVC, Sysco and Cinven as well as Archie Norman, former head of Asda, are reportedly interested in this food- distribution giant, which is owned by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, and could be worth £1.2 billion. Established in 1958 by three Brakes brothers to supply poultry to caterers, Brakes is now one of Britain’s biggest food-distribution operations with a leading position in France. It supplies schools, pubs, hotels, large catering companies and restaurants. The company underwent a £275m refinancing in 2006 after chief executive Frank McKay had taken sales to £1,638m in 2006.
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