Irish retailer Avoca is to be bought by US food services company Aramark for a price believed to be more than €60m (£42m).
Avoca will operate as a separate business within Aramark’s Irish operations and the Pratt family who currently run the business will remain involved in the company.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval, as Aramark already has a catering business in Ireland.
If the deal is approved, Aramark said it intends to expand the Avoca brand in Ireland and abroad.
Donal O’Brien, president of Aramark in Ireland, said: “This is an important, strategic investment for Aramark to add innovative new platforms to serve consumers and distinguish our business.
”A retailer like Avoca will provide us with consumer insights that will enable us to identify future trends and ensure our clients are ahead of the curve in meeting their customers’ needs.”
Avoca started life as a weaving mill in 1723. It is owned by siblings Simon, Amanda, Ivan and Vanessa Pratt, and their parents. Its turnover in 2014 was €55m (£39m). It comprises 11 stores, some of which have cafes, an eponymous brand and a mill in County Wicklow. It employs 850 people.
Managing director Simon Pratt will remain in his position.
He said: “Aramark provides us with the corporate structures, the global reach and the resources to reach our fullest potential, and to continue to grow both in Ireland and internationally.”