Canada’s K-Bro buys Fishers Laundry in £35m deal

Cupar-based Fishers Laundry Group said K-Bro Linen Inc, the largest provider of laundry and linen services in Canada, agreed to acquire Fishers for at least £35 million.

Fishers is a commercial laundry and textile rental provider in Scotland and the North East of England.

“K-Bro has agreed to acquire 100% of Fishers’ parent company, Fishers Topco Limited, from its major shareholder, the private equity firm, Caird Capital, and a number of individual minority shareholders for a consideration of £35 million, in addition to an earn-out consideration based upon full year EBITDA,” said Fishers.

The transaction is expected to complete on November 27, 2017.

K-Bro plans to use Fishers as a platform from which to build its presence in the UK commercial laundry and textile rental market.

Fishers will operate as a standalone, wholly owned subsidiary of K-Bro and will retain its headquarters in Cupar, Fife.

The Fishers management team will remain with the business and there are no headcount reductions planned as part of the acquisition.

Fishers employs 800 staff across seven sites in Scotland and the North East of England and provides commercial laundry and textile rental services principally to the hospitality sector but also to a range of other sectors including healthcare, manufacturing and pharmaceutical.

Fishers has also developed the innovative Zhen luxury linen range incorporating radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in the linen, allowing customers and Fishers to track linen effectively, enabling operational and stock control efficiencies.

Headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, K-Bro is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and employs 1,600 people in nine processing facilities and two distribution centres in 10 cities across Canada.

About 75% of K-Bro’s business comes from long-term healthcare contracts with the remainder of its revenues coming from the hotel sector and other commercial contracts.

Fishers managing director Michael Jones said: “This is great news for Fishers as it brings a new owner for the business with the resources, experience and ambition to take Fishers to the next level.

“I am confident that, as part of K-Bro, Fishers will thrive and I look forward to drawing on K-Bro’s experience, particularly in the Canadian healthcare sector, to help us grow the Fishers business further here in the UK.”

K-Bro CEO Linda McCurdy said: “We are very excited to add the Fishers platform as K-Bro’s first acquisition outside of Canada.

“The UK linen hospitality market is mature, but still highly fragmented, and we expect to leverage Fishers’ leading market position, experienced local management team, entrenched customer relationships and proven track record of stable and profitable operations to take advantage of the significant organic growth and consolidation opportunities available to us, similar to what we have achieved in Canada.”