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11th May 2020

Historic family foodservice business agrees sale

Thrings oversees disposal of L&F Jones’ wholesale and butchery divisions to RD Johns Foodservice.

L&F Jones, one of the largest foodservice operators in the South West, has completed the sale of its wholesale and butchery divisions to food supplier RD Johns Foodservice.

The family-run L&F Jones – which opened its first shop in Stratton-on-the Fosse, near Midsomer Norton, 109 years ago – trades as Jones Food Solutions.

It stocks around 6,500 catering and retail products – chilled and frozen foods, fresh meat, grocery, household, non-foods, beers, wines, spirits, soft drinks, confectionery, crisps and snacks – and supplies a range of customers within a 50-mile radius of its depot.

The company’s wholesale and butchery divisions have been sold to Newton Abbot-based food wholesaler and catering butchery RD Johns Foodservice, which has been serving customers throughout the West Country for more than four decades.

The sale will allow L&F Jones to focus on its hotel and chain of convenience stores, while enabling RD Johns Foodservice to expand its geographic footprint and offer greater scale to its South West customer base.

L&F Jones received legal advice from members of Thrings’ Company Commercial team – led by partner John Richardson and solicitor Lizzie King – who advised acting chairman and board adviser Robin Allen and board members Ray D’Arcy and Dave Jones on the terms of the asset sale agreement.

They were assisted by Kerrie Hunt, who acted in respect of employment and TUPE matters, and fellow partner Alex Pinhey, who represented the owners of the freehold property from which the business operated in relation to the granting of a new lease to RD Johns Foodservice.

Robin Allen said: “The deal with RD Johns Foodservice brings together two businesses that have culture at the heart of their operations.

“With the support of our advisors, we were able to structure a deal and process that strengthened the wider L&F Jones business and ensure the transaction was completed quickly and efficiently.”

John Richardson added: “L&F Jones has been providing its customers with a full range of ambient, chilled and frozen goods for more than a century, and during this period the company has earned a well-deserved reputation for excellence and customer care.

“While this is a fantastic opportunity for L&F Jones, it’s another example of Thrings’ cross-sector expertise. We’re very pleased to have been able to help the business complete a transaction during what is a challenging period for the wholesale food supply industry.”

L&F Jones also received advice from accountants Mazars’ corporate team, while Torquay law firm Boyce Hatton acted for RD Johns Foodservice.

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