CASH and carry giant Booker yesterday bought a rival which supplies Michelin-starred restaurants and leading hotel chains.
It paid £14.5m for Ritter-Courivaud, which counts chef Rick Stein among its customers.
Booker wants to expand the range of its catering offering through Ritter, which will remain under the management of Ian Le Vesconte.
Chief executive Charles Wilson said: “We want it to keep doing a great job for its customers, but we can offer scale, such as introducing Ritter sections in Booker outlets.”
Booker has also spent £4.5m on Classic Drinks, which supplies beer, spirits and soft drinks to pubs.
The firm posted pre-tax profits of £36.9m for the 24 weeks to 10 September on sales up 5.5 per cent at £1.7bn. The firm said it has appointed Guy Farrant, a former director of food at Marks & Spencer as managing director of UK business.