Economy

Sweden’s Teqnion buys Reward Catering in first Irish acquisition – The Irish Times

Irish family-run food truck and trailer Reward Catering has been acquired by Swedish industrial group Teqnion in a deal estimated by industry sources to be worth some €13 million.

This is Teqnion’s first acquisition in Ireland.

Reward Catering, which designs and manufactures high-end food trucks for the European and US markets, has a turnover of around €3.5 million, with net profit close to €1 million. The value of the sale was not disclosed. It has seen significant growth in the past couple of years as demand for high quality food trucks increased. This was also supported by the shift to outdoor hospitality amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Although the trucks are mainly used for food and drink businesses, they have other uses, including as DJ stands, hair salons and marketing vehicles. They are supplied to companies all over the world.

The business was founded in 2018 by brothers Kevin, Thomas and John Ward, along with their father, in Bray, Co Wicklow. John has since stepped back from the business to concentrate on his other venture, biotech start-up ServBlock, which he cofounded with his brothers.

“We used to have a little ice cream kiosk in Bray front,” said Kevin Ward. “We were looking to go mobile and get mobile catering units. There was nothing available or the price wasn’t right. From there we decided to design our own units and build our own units, and it just snowballed from there. We’ve become the largest manufacturer of mobile catering units in Europe in four years.”

The Covid-19 Pandemic boosted the business as outdoor hospitality soared in popularity. “We were already on a very strong upward trend, but I’d say Covid definitely accelerated it,” Mr Ward said.

Following the conclusion of the deal Mr Ward will remain on as chief executive, and the team will focus on expansion and growth, with Reward Catering aiming to double its Irish workforce to 20.

“We fell in love with what they have done in a very short period of time and what they achieved with their entrepreneurship and a very pragmatic way of doing business,” said Johan Steene, chief executive of Teqnion. “Together we will continue to grow Reward Catering for the future as a team. This is a new niche for us and we are very excited.”

Although Reward Catering has clients all over the world, he company has plans for aggressive growth both in Ireland and further afield, including in the US. “Part of our bucket list is to get a trailer in every country,” Mr Ward said. “And then to get on The Late Late Show one day.”

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