Wheeling firm sells laundry business to U.K. buyer

By Becky Yerak
Posted March 8 at 5:47 p.m.

A Wheeling-based company that provides laundry services to area hospitals has been sold by its private-equity owner to a strategic buyer based in the United Kingdom.

New York-based Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC said Tuesday it has sold Wheeling-based Healthcare Laundry Systems, whose clients include Swedish Covenant Hospital, NorthShore University HealthSystem and Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, to Crothall Services Group.

Blue Wolf had formed HLS in November 2008 through the acquisition of both Wheeling-based Hospital Laundry Services and Rockford-based Northern Illinois Hospital Services. Both had been owned by a consortium of not-for-profit hospitals.

HLS said it cleans more than 70 million pounds of linen annually for 770 hospitals and clinics in the area.

Crothall, a health care services management firm, is a unit of United Kingdom-based Compass Group PLC, which provides food and a range of support services to commercial businesses, schools, hospitals and others. Crothall has a laundry services business headquartered in Wayne, Penn. Crothall was founded in 1991 and acquired in 2001 by hospitality services provider Compass.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Blue Wolf has owned HLS for less than 30 months.

“We bought an underperforming business, improved governance, improved environmental performance through targeted capital spending” and grew the company through better customer service and acquisitions, said Adam Blumenthal, Blue Wolf managing partner. The company’s revenue rose by 50 percent through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions. Its employee count grew by nearly 25 percent.

Before helping to start Blue Wolf in 2005, Blumenthal served as chief financial officer for New York City’s comptroller.

Read more about the topics in this post: , ,

One comment:

  1. jack (me) March 9 at 9:02 a.m.

    Headline is incorrect, as the body shows. It was “New York Firm Sells Wheeling Laundry Business.”

    Also, apparently the hedge fund flipped it. The only news is that it was successful in doing so (unlike Cerberus with various of its units).