AmeriPride Acquires First Class Linen
New location near Jackson, MS, becomes AmeriPride’s 30th U.S. branch
AmeriPride Services Inc., Minnetonka, MN, recently announced the acquisition of First Class Linen in Mississippi. The production facility in Durant and its two service centers in Richland and Olive Branch will now operate as AmeriPride’s 30th U.S. branch, according to a news release.
“We believe this is a great addition to the AmeriPride family,” said Bill Evans, president and CEO of AmeriPride. “The acquisition will help us expand our geographic territory and further solidify our market leadership in this region, and supports our ongoing efforts to grow profitably.”
In addition to the customers, facilities and equipment, AmeriPride has kept almost the entire workforce of First Class Linen. Most employees and key management have agreed to stay on board, including Dan Wills, former vice president of sales and service, who will take over as the general manager.
“Dan has great experience in the industry and I am very confident in his ability to lead the branch and oversee the transition,” said John Sutherland, senior vice president of U.S. operations at AmeriPride. “During our announcement at the branch, we were also able to meet with many other employees and I found them to be warm and welcoming. They are hard working and engaged employees that will take good care of our customers.”
AmeriPride noted there are a lot of similarities between the two companies. Both are privately owned with a long history in the industry. In fact, AmeriPride just celebrated its 125th anniversary as a company last year and is still owned by the founding family.
“Overall, we feel this business combination is a big win for our company and our new employees and customers,” Evans said. “We will be making material investments in equipment and technology at the plant and our new customers will gain access to great digital tools and resources to improve their service and make life easier. In addition, our new employees will likely see some additional opportunities for professional development and advancement.”
The purchase of the company was completed on Sept. 16. AmeriPride will work closely with the new branch location to assist with the integration and brand transition over the remainder of the year.
“AmeriPride has a great reputation in the industry and I fully expect this to be a smooth and seamless transition,” Wills said. “Our production facility and service centers will remain open at full capacity and customers should only see positive changes as a result of this change. There is a lot of opportunity for growth and continued success in the markets we serve.”