CH&Co, the parent company of event brands Ampersand, Chester Boyd, and ITA is to merge with the HCM Group (Host Catermasters Group).

The deal gives the new combined business a turnover approaching £200m, and a team of 4,500 staff, providing services to more than 400 operations across the UK and Ireland.

The new company will be called the CH&Co Group, and will be headed up by HCM’s CEO Bill Toner, who will now be Group CEO, with CH&Co’s co-founders, Robyn Jones and Tim Jones, continuing in their previous roles as founder and chairman respectively.

The existing executive management teams of both CH&Co and HCM will remain largely in position, but Stuart Lawson, CH&Co’s current group chief executive, is leaving the business soon having overseen a number of strategic changes and brand reviews within the company over the past 18 months.

Tim Jones said: “Stuart has played a key role in getting CH&Co ready for this major transition and we’re grateful for the leadership and support he has given us and we wish him every success in his next endeavours.”

Robyn Jones OBE added that the merger was an important element of determining the long-term legacy of the company she co-founded in 1991. “As we’ve been working closely over the past months bringing the deal together, it’s become increasingly clear that the senior management teams of both companies are working well as one team and share the same values for client and customer relationships, corporate responsibility, and team development, and that’s good news for all our stakeholders,” she added.

The new company will cover the spectrum from consumer and fully commercial to fixed cost catering for brands and organisations across the business, charity, leisure, education and healthcare sectors.

The new CH&Co Group is predominantly management owned but the deal has also been funded partly by MML Capital. Richard Mayers and Ian Wallis from MML will also join the CH&Co Group board as non-executive directors and provide counsel on growth strategy. Other non-executive members of the board include Elizabeth McMeikan and Simon Hodson.