Sale Follows Turnaround with 50% Revenue Growth, and Nearly 25% Employment Increase
New York, NY, March 8, 2011 — An affiliate of Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC (“Blue Wolf”), the New York-based private equity firm, today announced the sale of its interest in portfolio company Healthcare Laundry Systems (“HLS”) to Crothall Services Group.
An affiliate of Blue Wolf created HLS in November 2008 through the acquisition of the assets of both Wheeling, Illinois-based Hospital Laundry Services and Northern Illinois Hospital Services, based in Rockford, Illinois, each of which was acquired from a consortium of not-for-profit hospitals. Today, HLS is the largest and highest-volume provider of healthcare laundry services in North America, a critical service, representing more than 70 million pounds of clean linen annually, to approximately 770 acute care hospitals and clinics in the greater Chicago area.
Crothall, a national leader in healthcare services management, has provided management services to HLS for six years, helping the company establish its market-leading position. Crothall is a subsidiary of UK-based Compass Group PLC (LSE:CPG).
“This transaction exemplifies Blue Wolf’s investment strategy of creating value through responsible investing,” said Adam Blumenthal, Managing Partner of Blue Wolf. “We bought an underperforming business, improved governance, improved environmental performance through targeted capital spending, and focused on growing the company through an increased customer focus, accretive acquisitions and value-enhancing customer additions that have turned HLS into the dominant force in its market.”
Under Blue Wolf’s stewardship, in less than thirty months, the company’s revenue increased by 50% through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions. The company improved productivity, and improved its safety record, even while increasing its employee base by nearly 25% to support volume growth.
“As one of the few middle market private equity firms to have signed the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investing, we are excited that our investment in HLS demonstrates how utilizing these principles in investing can result in both socio-economic benefits and attractive returns,” said Haran Narulla, a Blue Wolf vice-president.
“We are very proud to have helped build a company that has generated significant returns for our investors, while managing and growing this business in a way that benefits both its, and our, many stakeholders. We are delighted that our longtime partner Crothall will now take HLS to the next level,” Blumenthal added.
“We have seen this business thrive under Blue Wolf,” said Bobby Kutteh, CEO of Crothall Services Group. “We are pleased to have contributed to HLS’s previous success and we are committed to continuing the strong management and teamwork that have allowed the company to become the leader in its field.”
About Healthcare Laundry Systems
Healthcare Laundry Systems (HLS) operates as the largest and most efficient single-site healthcare laundry service in the country. Exclusively serving healthcare providers, HLS provides customers with hygienically-clean general and surgical linen, among other services. The company is also an industry leader in “green” initiatives and is a pioneering member of the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council. Based in Wheeling, IL, HLS delivers across Chicagoland and to surrounding states. For additional information, please visit www.hlschicago.com.
About Blue Wolf Capital Partners
Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC is a private equity firm that invests in companies in which effective management of relationships with complex constituencies, such as government and labor, can change organizations and create value. For additional information, please visit www.blue-wolf.com.