EQT Partners, through its EQT Infrastructure II Fund, has agreed to acquire WASH Multifamily Laundry Systems – the largest Canadian provider and second largest US provider of route-based laundry services to multifamily apartments and universities – from CHS Capital.
CHS Capital acquired WASH (then Web Service Company) in September 2008. Today, the company operates through 26 branch locations with an installed base of over 500,000 machines at 70,000 locations. To service these facilities, the WASH utilizes a fleet of approximately 600 satellite enabled vehicles. WASH has approximately 880 employees and is headquartered in El Segundo, CA. The company was founded in 1947 and more than 4.5 million people do their laundry in a WASH laundry room every week (www.washlaundry.com).
The management team of WASH, led by CEO Adam Coffey, will remain with the company and continue to run the business under the ownership of EQT.
“WASH’s current management has taken a family-owned company, with a strong heritage and long history of providing essential services to its customers, and transformed the business into a technology-driven platform that is a true leader in the industry. We have followed the company for some time and have been impressed by WASH’s stable earnings base, defensible market position, and multiple growth avenues. WASH is exactly the type of company in which EQT Infrastructure seeks to invest and this acquisition is a continuation of EQT Infrastructure’s investment strategy in North America. We look forward to working together with WASH’s management and employees, along with a board of Industrial Advisors, to apply EQT’s growth-oriented approach to value creation and take WASH to the next level,” says Stefan Glevén, Partner at EQT Partners.
EQT Partners pursues medium sized companies in Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, China and the US. EQT Infrastructure II is a EUR 1.9 billion fund investing in medium-sized infrastructure businesses in the Nordic region, parts of Continental Europe, and North America. Investment targets are regulated infrastructure, concession-based infrastructure, market-based infrastructure and services businesses with infrastructure characteristics. EQT Partners is based in Stockholm with other offices in Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo, Frankfurt, Munich, New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Warsaw (www.eqt.se).
The acquisition of WASH represents EQT’s sixth investment in North America and the second investment in a North American route-based infrastructure services business.
The seller of WASH, CHS Capital (formerly Code Hennessy & Simmons) targets companies with enterprise values between $75 million and $500 million. Industries of interest include business & consumer services; distribution; industrial products; infrastructure; and energy. The firm is headquartered in Chicago (www.chsonline.com).
EQT was advised by Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Bain & Company and KPMG. WASH was advised by Moelis & Company, William Blair & Co., and Kirkland & Ellis.
Financing for the transaction will be provided by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Natixis.
© 2015 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 4-13-15