Skip to main content

Harris Williams Advises Washing Systems, LLC on its Sale to Kao Corporation

Richmond, Virginia, August 10, 2018 – Harris Williams, a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide for more than 25 years, announces that it advised Washing Systems, LLC (Washing Systems), a portfolio company of Gryphon Investors, on its sale to Kao Corporation (Kao). Washing Systems is a leading provider of chemical and technical services to the commercial laundry processing industry. The transaction was led by Patrick McNulty, John Lautemann and Kristin Brozyna of Harris Williams’ Industrials Group.

 

“We are grateful and proud to have worked with the Gryphon team and management on this transaction. Their collaboration and tireless execution have created a true market leader,” said Patrick McNulty, a managing director at Harris Williams. “This transaction further underscores Harris Williams’ expertise in and commitment to the specialty chemicals sector.”

 

“Washing Systems’ superior technical capabilities and overall competitive differentiation continue to translate into both impressive financial performance and tremendous opportunities for growth,” said John Lautemann, a director at Harris Williams. “We are delighted to have helped the shareholders realize a great outcome and look forward to watching the company’s continued success under Kao’s ownership.”

 

Washing Systems is a leading provider of specialty chemicals and technical services to the North American and European textile rental market. In addition to its innovative chemicals and high-touch customer service, the Ohio-based company has a proven track record of environmental stewardship and was the first for-profit enterprise to receive the Platinum Award (the highest award) from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in 2017.

 

Based in San Francisco, Gryphon Investors is a leading private equity firm focused on profitably growing and competitively enhancing middle market companies in partnership with experienced management. For 23 consecutive quarters, Gryphon has been ranked in Preqin’s prestigious quarterly PE report as one of North America’s top-decile buyout firms based on consistency of strong investment returns. Managing over $4 billion of equity investments and capital since 1997, the firm has an extensive track record of leading equity investments of $50 million to $200 million per portfolio company with sales ranging from approximately $100 million to $500 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form strong partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, specialized professional resources and operational expertise. Gryphon closed its fourth private equity buyout fund, Gryphon IV, L.P., in November 2016 at $1.1 billion, and raised a $100 million captive mezzanine fund, Gryphon Mezzanine Partners, L.P., in August 2017.

 

Kao creates high-value-added products that enrich the lives of consumers around the world. Through its portfolio of over 20 leading brands such as Jergens, John Frieda, Molton Brown, Oribe, Attack, Bioré, Goldwell, Kanebo, Laurier and Merries, Kao is part of the everyday lives of people in Asia, Oceania, North America and Europe. Combined with its chemical division, which contributes to a wide range of industries, Kao generates about 1,500 billion yen ($13.6 billion, at the rate of 110 yen to U.S. dollar) in annual sales. Kao employs about 33,000 people worldwide and has 130 years of history in innovation.

 

Harris Williams (www.harriswilliams.com), a subsidiary of the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:PNC), is a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide. The firm has deep industry knowledge, global transaction expertise and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Harris Williams provides sell-side and acquisition advisory, restructuring advisory, board advisory, private placements and capital markets advisory services.

 

Harris Williams’ Industrials Group has experience across a variety of sectors, including advanced manufacturing; aggregates, metals, and mining; building products; chemicals and specialty materials; industrial technology; and packaging. For more information on the firm’s Industrials Group and other recent transactions, visit the Industrials Group’s section of the Harris Williams website.

 

Investment banking services are provided by Harris Williams LLC, a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC, and Harris Williams & Co. Ltd, which is a private limited company incorporated under English law with its registered office at 5th Floor, 6 St. Andrew Street, London EC4A 3AE, UK, registered with the Registrar of Companies for England and Wales (registration number 07078852). Harris Williams & Co. Ltd is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Harris Williams is a trade name under which Harris Williams LLC and Harris Williams & Co. Ltd conduct business.

 

For media inquiries, please contact Katie Langemeier, associate brand manager, at +1 (804) 648-0072.