Tegan Chapman

Laundry system provider acquired by Solingen

A private investor group from Leeds has acquired the trade and assets of Washstation Limited.

Solingen Private Equity Limited has purchased the trade and assets of Washstation Limited, a provider of managed laundry systems to higher education customers across the UK.

The firm was sold by JLA who acquired Washstation in May 2017, bringing together two businesses who rent and maintain washing machines and tumble dryers to universities, colleges and student accommodation providers for use by students.

In 2018, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation into the merger following concerns the deal had reduced competition in the sector.

The CMA ruled that JLA must sell Washstation’s higher education business to a new owner, to be approved by the regulator.

Solingen, a private equity firm focused on investing in entrepreneurs, have now acquired the business alongside Katy Mitchell, a former employee of Washstation who will be working with Solingen to grow the business.

Katy said: “The student accommodation market is growing in the UK, and therefore so is managed launderette services to this sector. Washstation has a fantastic opportunity to continue to grow its market share and keep providing innovative solutions.

“Other similar end user sectors who require a premium managed service also offer opportunity to Washstation. With the support of Solingen and new staff hires in the business I will look to pursue all these opportunities in the months and years ahead.”

JLA was advised by Grant Thornton’s Corporate Finance Advisors Richard Goldsack, Claire Davis and Simon Keppie.

Richard Goldsack, corporate finance partner at Grant Thornton, said: “We are proud to have advised on a deal that will bring more choice to the sector. With the backing of Solingen and Katy Mitchell, Washstation has a huge opportunity to succeed.”

Solingen and Katy Mitchell were advised by commercial lawyers Marriott Harrison on this deal.

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