Jeeves, founded in 1969, has become recognised as “London’s finest drycleaners” and holds a Royal Warrant. It has 12 well-located retail units in central london and a specialist central processing unit, also London based. The business has an annual turnover of around £3.7m and its net assets at the end of March 2003 were estimated at £1.7m.

Under its new ownership, Jeeves of Belgravia will retain its distinct identity and operate separately from the mainstream Johnsons Cleaning business. Martin Sloots remains Jeeves managing director.

Johnson will invest in and expand the Jeeves luxury brand. David Bryant, Johnson director, said: “We intend to expand this niche business with new product offerings, closer contact with the customer and improved customer service, whilst strong back office and technical support will be provided from Johnsons’ central resources.”

Whether Jeeves of Belgravia will expand beyond its London base has still to be decided.

Commenting on the deal as a whole, Stuart Graham, Johnson ceo, said: “I am encouraged by this acquisition which fits in with our previously announced strategy of both increasing our presence in the London market and re-invigorating Johnsons’s drycleaning business.

“Jeeves is recognised as the premier drycleaner, tailored to the discerning City and central London market. The prestigious Jeeves of Belgravia brand has quality at its heart and we fully intend to build the business using our management and industry experience, whilst recognising and retaining its unique position and image in the UK drycleaning market.

“The shareholding acquired in Jeeves International is interesting.”