Listed fryer management company snaps up fat management business

Filta Van on the Road

Rugby-based commercial kitchen fryer management company, Filta Group Holdings plc, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM in 2016,  has agreed to acquire Essex-based Watbio Holdings Limited, which provides grease and drain management solutions to commercial kitchens across the UK, for £6.9 million.

Filta says the acquisition will help it become the leading national provider of grease management and drainage services in the UK.

The fryer management company will pay £6.9 million, subject to adjustments for working capital movements of up to a maximum of a further £1.2 million.

The consideration will be payable in two principal tranches followed by a final payment to take account of any increase in the working capital between September 30 and the date of completion.

The acquisition will be £800,000 through the issue of 400,000 new shares in Filta to Watbio and by the payment of up to £7.3 million in cash.

The cash element of the consideration will be through a £3.0 million fundraise, and from a new £4.0 million five-year term loan facility as well as existing bank and cash resources.

Filta Group Holdings, which reported revenues up 15 per cent at £6.6 million in its interim results 2018 published in September, provides cooking oil filtration and fryer management services around the world to restaurants and other food establishments, servicing over 6,000 customers every week and has recycled over 1/4 billion litres of oil. This is Filta’s core and original service FiltaFry.

Watbio provides installation and maintenance services to control fat, oil and grease in commercial kitchens, along with wastewater pumping and treatment plants, and drainage services.  The company employs approximately 90 staff and operates through its fleet of around 70 vans, providing services to over 860 customers, including major fast food, pub and coffee chains. In the year ended 30 September 2018, Watbio’s audited accounts showed revenues of £10.3 million.

In September, Filta Group announced ten new franchise agreements in 2018, six in the US, two in Canada and two in Europe, and five franchise resales, two in the US and three in the UK, were achieved in H1. At that time the group had 192 franchisees throughout its global network and continues to see strong interest from potential franchisees in North America and Europe.