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  • Sale of JLA delivers 4.9x return to the Hg6 Fund (2009 vintage).
  • JLA more than doubled in size during Hg investment, successfully developing new product categories and significantly growing total employment.
  • 17th exit from Hg6 to-date and the 5th exit from Hg in 2018.

14 May 2018. Hg today announces the sale of JLA, a UK sector leader for critical assets solutions in the commercial laundry, catering, heating and fire safety markets, to Cinven.

The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval and the terms are not disclosed.

JLA provides equipment, supply and services solutions across commercial laundry, catering, heating and fire safety to customers across the UK, primarily through its ‘Total Care’ offering. Total Care provides customers with a hassle-free solution for running critical areas of their business, minimising downtime and maximising peace of mind for business owners.

Hg’s Services team invested in JLA at the beginning of 2010, identifying JLA as a ‘hidden champion’ services business. JLA displays best-in-class services characteristics: stable and predictable revenue streams, growth from both existing and new customers, and a wide customer base with high customer satisfaction levels.

Since 2010, in addition to the organic development of new product offerings in the Catering, Heating and Fire Safety markets, JLA has successfully completed 16 bolt-on M&A transactions. During this time the business has more than doubled in size, with employment increasing from 310 to 900 across the UK.

Thorsten Toepfer and Joris Van Gool, Hg, said: “JLA has been a strong performing business, displayed by its 25 year-on-year unbroken growth track record. Hg has supported management to enable this growth during our 8-year investment period, including a variety of operational projects covering new product development, digital marketing and acquisitions. Hg’s investment returns have been driven by the combination of impressive revenue and EBITDA growth, as well as accretive M&A delivered by a world-class management team. We have really enjoyed working with the JLA team and we wish them well as they continue their success.”

Stephen Baxter, CEO of JLA, said: “JLA has enjoyed an incredibly successful period during our partnership with Hg. The operational projects we have undertaken together have proved valuable, whilst the M&A activity has helped expand and diversify our services. We look forward to working with Cinven, who we’re confident will help us maintain this momentum and continue JLA’s future growth.”

The sale of JLA will deliver an overall return to Hg6 clients of 4.9x original cost, generating a gross IRR of 26%. The realisation of JLA represents the 17th exit from Hg6 to-date and the 5th exit from Hg in 2018.

Advising on the transaction were Baird (Corporate Finance), Deloitte (FDD), Skadden (Legal), EY-Parthenon (CDD).