Holmes fabrication

Holmes performing above expectations after buyout

Holmes fabricationThe new Holmes Catering Equipment Solutions has been performing above the level the Space Group expected when it bought what was Holmes Catering Equipment out of administration last November.

Ian Bidmead, MD of the Space Group, told Catering Insight: “When you take a company out of administration, by definition it’s a challenging time because it got into trouble in the first place. But we appointed Lee Martin, who was ex-Nuttalls, as the new MD, because he had been involved with the business before as a consultant.

“He has made lots of changes and it’s progressing really well. In the financial year to March it was profitable, so the outlook is very positive.”

One of Space’s project managers, Adrian Hogg, made the move over to Holmes after the takeover in order to lend additional support to the new entity. Plus former Counterline key account manager Claire Moss was hired as key account director, while Ian Free continued as commercial director.

In April, former director Julie Holmes departed the company, after helping to see it through administration and this transition period. “Julie has done a great job but she felt that she’d done her bit and decided to move on,” detailed Bidmead.

“The structure of the company is evolving and we are assessing what is the right mix of people. We are looking at where Space and Holmes provide the best service and we are supporting each other. As Space is based in Gloucestershire and Holmes is in York it works very well geographically; there is a lot of synergy between the two businesses.”

Since the takeover, Holmes has won a major contract with Tesco to outfit 30 of its staff restaurants, a project which had to be completed in a tight 8-week timeframe. Furthermore, a contract which was signed with York Racecourse before Holmes went into administration has now come to fruition. Worth around £400,000, the deal specified that Holmes would outfit bars and other catering facilities in a new stand under construction. The project is still ongoing.

Bidmead concluded: “It’s a different business to the old Holmes, so it’s early days; it’s still young and there is a still a lot to do.”