Skip to main content


Harris Williams Advises Washing Systems on its Sale to Kao Corporation

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 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 possible) from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in 2017.

Kao creates high-value-added products that enrich the lives of consumers around the world. Through its portfolio of more than 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.

DID YOU KNOW? 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.


Source: Harris Williams, a subsidiary of the PNC Financial Services Group Inc.