Market-leading workplace services provider PHS Group has been put on the market at a price of around £1.5 billion. Its main shareholder, private equity group Charterhouse Capital, has reportedly appointed Goldman Sachs to sound out potential buyers.
Charterhouse is thought to be keen to cash in on its investment that was acquired in 2005 for over £700 million by taking the business private. The profits would enable the company to make further acquisitions whilst many UK companies are significantly undervalued. A sale of PHS Group is hoped to take place before the end of this year.
PHS Group provides washroom, waste management, storage, testing, laundry and other services to over 300,000 businesses around the United Kingdom. It has over 3000 staff, operates 90 branches and has expanded into Spain and France with new offices soon being set up in Belgium and the Netherlands.
The firm has recorded steady turnover growth over the past few years, rising from just over £300 million in the year to 31 March 2008 to £360 million in the year to 31 March 2010. Pre-tax profits for the latest period are £96.5 million.
There are thought to be several private equity buyers, including Apax and BC Partners, that may show a strong interest in buying the business – in addition to trade buyers that include Rentokil.