Johnson Unveils UK Acquisitions

Posted May 2, 2016 at 5:23 pm

The pace of laundry consolidation in Great Britain quickened recently with an announcement by the Johnson Service Group of acquisitions of Portgrade, and its subsidiary Afonwen Laundry, as well as Chester Textile Services, according to news reports.

“I am very pleased to announce further acquisitions that increase our presence in the textile rental market,” said Chris Sander, chief executive of the Johnson Service Group, Preston Brook, England. “The addition of Afonwen significantly strengthens our quality and service offering within the high-volume hotel linen sector.”

The cash deal for both Afonwen and Portgrade, which has a staff of more than 750 people, was set at £52.6 million ($77.1 million). Afonwen is a leading supplier of hotel linens in the United Kingdom (UK) with plants in Cardiff and Pwllheli, Wales; as well as Reading, England, near London; and a depot in Leeds, England.

Mark Woolfenden, managing director of Afonwen, said the acquisition could clear the way for his company to pursue further expansion. “With increasing consolidation in the UK textile rental market, the opportunity to scale up into a larger organization and allow us to offer fully nationwide coverage was a huge attraction,” Woolfenden said. “We look forward to continued growth.”

In the deal for Chester Textile Services, Johnson Service Group paid £3.3 million ($4.84 million) for the private company and said it plans a public offering of stock to raise another £28.7 million ($42.07). Based in Chester, England, Chester Textile Services has served hotel and food and beverage (F&B) and related clients for 125 years.

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