‘Investment banks are understood to be sounding out prospective suitors of the $1.4 billion company Spotless for an advisory role,’ reported The Australian on 26 July 2016.
Sodexo, a French food services company operating in Australia, Compass, ISS and Aramark are all said to be interested in the services provider.
‘It is understood that at least one suitor will wait until the conclusion of the sale of the Spotless laundries arm, which is subject to divestment in an unofficial process through Highbury Partnership’.
After its share prices dropped late last year following a profit warning, Spotless, which was previously owned by Pacific Equity Partners, became a takeover target.
The Australian pointed out that ‘one of the attractions for an acquisition would be Spotless’s long-term contracts that are hard to obtain by its rivals and are highly lucrative’.
According to the paper, ‘the interest in the overall operation comes with suggestions that Britain’s Berendsen could be firming as the favourite in the contest to buy the $400m-odd laundry division of Spotless’.
Indeed, some market analysts believe that Berendsen is a likely winner since ‘acquisitions are part of the strategy for the British commercial laundry service provider’, and because the company has been ‘scanning the globe for opportunities for a long time’.