Deal done:
Sale of Commercial Cleaning Services Company

Turnover:  £760k
Deal completed in:      15 months

The Company

A successful commercial cleaning company, that provided cleaning services to a varied client base of restaurant chains, pubs, schools, medical practices and leisure facilities in and around Milton Keynes, Northampton, Hertfordshire and the M1 Corridor. Some of the clients were further afield in London, Croydon, Kent and Essex.

Cleaning services accounted for 78% of all revenue with 6% coming from consumables and paper product supplies and a contract in security (manned-guarding 24/7) accounted for the remainder.

Founded in 2005, the business was well established, well run and profitable. The majority of their 66 clients were on rolling service contracts with the remaining clients on long standing fixed term service contracts.

For a full description of the business, please click here.

The Situation

The vendor was seeking to focus his attentions on other unrelated business interests. Therefore we took the business to market as a company sale so the vendor could benefit from entrepreneur’s relief on the proceeds of the sale.

The range of contracts, the staff of 96 part-time cleaners plus the business processes and operational experience was of significant value to any buyer looking to grow market share.

The business had a strong new business division and a good success rate in achieving large new contracts when going head to head with larger established market players and this was also key in securing a good range of offers for the business.

What Hornblower Did

Lead by Sian Murray, our Business Sales and Acquisitions Consultant, we took the business to market in October 2016. Sian had met with the vendors in February 2016. They initially selected a different broker based on marginally reduced fees and closer proximity to the vendor. However, after 6 months, the other broker had not progressed the business sale and the vendor was deeply frustrated. Having only had two telephone meetings that did not result in either a face-to-face meeting or an offer, he re-connected with Hornblower and asked us to take over the sale mandate.

As with all our business sales, Hornblower began a focused marketing campaign across email, websites and hardcopy direct mail. We first used our large database of potential buyers in the appropriate sectors. We then supplemented this with specifically researched and targeted companies in the cleaning, security and waste disposal sectors.

There was significant interest in the business. In the 12 months before we accepted an offer there were 96 enquiries and over 15 face-to-face business meetings between the vendor and qualified serious buyers. Within 12 months, we received 4 very good offers and then selected a preferred bidder and moved to Heads ready for completion.

The whole deal completed within 15 months of the starting process in October 2016.

SOLD – December 2017