Sodexo has purchased UK schools caterer Alliance In Partnership (AiP) group of companies for an undisclosed amount.

Established in 1998, AiP group of companies includes The Contract Dining Company and Class Catering Services businesses. The company supplies locally sourced and seasonal meals to its clients.

Under the deal, Sodexo and AiP will combine their resources and expertise to develop new food concepts.

Sodexo UK and Ireland schools and universities CEO Andrew Wilkinson said: “We are delighted to welcome the talented and dynamic AiP team to Sodexo. The AiP impressive client base of 418 schools will strongly complement our existing private sector schools business.

“The education sector presents a huge growth area for us and we have been looking to expand our presence in it for some time.

“The education sector presents a huge growth area for us and we have been looking to expand our presence in it for some time.”

“Whilst we have been growing our own business organically, acquiring a company already well-established in the public sector enables us to develop our scale, infrastructure and visibility.”

Sodexo will operate AiP as an independent business and will continue its managing director Paul Rogers, who will lead the business from its Birmingham head office with 1,500 employees.

Last month, the foodservice company acquired Switzerland-based high-end catering services firm Novae Restauration to expand its footprint in the country.

This deal allows Sodexo Switzerland to expand its position in the German and Swiss markets, as well as support the development of its fully integrated services.

Sodexo currently employs 34,000 associates and serves clients in 1,850 locations throughout the corporate, energy and resources, healthcare, education, leisure, justice and defence sectors.