HgCapital In Talks To Buy UK Laundry Company

LONDON (Reuters) – HgCapital is in exclusive talks to buy UK commercial laundry equipment supplier John Laithwaite (JLA), in a deal that could be worth around 150 million pounds ($225.5 million), people familiar with the matter said.

HgCapital saw off competition from other private equity houses to enter exclusive talks for the business, which provides washers and dryers to hospitals and student accommodation, sources said.

HgCapital declined to comment, while JLA was unavailable for comment.

A deal would allow HgCapital to start to mobilise its recently raised 1.85 billion pound fund. Its sixth fund bucked tough fundraising markets to beat targets and double the size of its previous buyout pot.

West Yorkshire-based JLA had been looking for a buyer to bring in new management for the company, an arrangement that suits HgCapital, a source familiar with the process said.

JLA generated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of about 16 million pounds in 2009 but valuing the business proved difficult as it had large depreciation and interest charge figures, the source said.

(Reporting by Simon Meads; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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