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PHS swept over by Charterhouse for £600m

Private equity firm, Charterhouse Capital Partners has finally taken over the 40-year old PHS Group, a veteran in offering office services and owner of PHS Washrooms and Greenleaf office plant services, for £600m in cash.

Published :
Fri, 08 Jul 2005 14:05
By : Andrew Stead
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Private equity firm, Charterhouse Capital Partners has finally taken over the 40-year old PHS Group, a veteran in offering office services and owner of PHS Washrooms and Greenleaf office plant services, for £600m in cash.

Charterhouse Capital Partners outbid other contenders at the auction held in May by investment bank, Merrill Lynch and will be buying PHS, the Personal Hygiene Services Group for 116.36p a share, constituting of 115p in cash and a 1.36p dividend.

Four years back in 2001, the PHS group was floated at 80p a share by Charterhouse, after which it soon recorded a robust rise in sales from £115m to about £187.7m in 2002 along with heftier profits of £55m against £33.6m. According to Charterhouse director, Stuart Simpson, the PHS group had carved a niche for itself in “UK's leading workplace-services providers” and that they as a private equity firm were “excited by the potential to take PHS to the next stage of its development.”

Charterhouse Capital recently acquired Coral Eurobet, the licensed bookmaker as well as the holiday company, Saga. The firm’s bid is being upheld and strongly backed by its shareholders who share at least 32% of the entire trade. In fact, even the management team of the PHS group owning around 1% of the business has offered support for the acquisition deal. In the event of a competitive offer for the business, PHS will be paying about £6m to Charterhouse.

Providing premium hygiene services, PHS operates in as many as 48 branches from all over the country, dealing with washroom services, dust mats, water dispensers, office plants and crate rentals. John Allan and Jan Astrand, PHS's independent directors believed that the terms and conditions of the acquisition reasonable reflected “the strengths of the business and represent an opportunity for PHS Shareholders to realise their investment for cash at an attractive premium.”



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