K-Bro Linen, which already owns Scottish laundry brand Fishers, has taken over Cumbrian firm Shortridge in a deal worth up to £26.1 million. The Canadian laundry giant is now planning to extend its operations into the Midlands and southern England after taking over the historic laundry and linen group.

The acquisition enables expansion of K-Bro’s geographic footprint in the £1.4 billion UK commercial laundry and textile rental market.  K-Bro also owns Fishers Laundry Group, the commercial laundry and textile rental provider covering Scotland and the North East of England, which it acquired in 2017.

Shortridge is being acquired for a consideration of £24.1 million, on a cash-free, debt free basis (subject to customary conditions, including certain escrows) and with a further potential earn-out of £2 million for achieving certain targets for the 12 months through to September 2024.  Shortridge’s last 12 months’ revenue for the period ended 31 2024 was approximately £12.5 million.  The transaction includes the freehold and leasehold real estate for Shortridge’s laundry processing facilities.   The acquisition is being funded entirely from K-Bro’s recently increased syndicated debt facility and is expected to be accretive to the Corporation.

Shortridge is headquartered in North West England, with laundry processing sites in Lillyhall and Dumfries and a distribution centre in Darlington. Shortridge is a long-established and respected laundry company (established in 1845) and K-Bro plans to retain its branding. Its experienced management team will remain with the business and K-Bro intends to retain Shortridge’s employees across its three sites.

Linda McCurdy, president and CEO of K-Bro, said: “While our original plans to grow our presence in the UK were interrupted by the Covid pandemic, we have stayed on the alert for further growth opportunities in the UK, and I am excited by the potential that this acquisition presents for us and for Shortridge’s customers. We share the same values as Shortridge, so the cultural fit is strong and the business has found a good home as part of the K-Bro family.

“This is a great opportunity for us to diversify our customer base in the UK and to position our combined UK business for more growth as we look to extend K-Bro’s geographic reach further south into the UK.”

Peter Semple, Shortridge business director, said: “This is a good news story for Shortridge and our customers as we join the K-Bro family with the resources and the vision to help us grow the business further while continuing to look after the interests of our valued customer base. K-Bro’s experience, coupled with Fishers’ strong reputation and track record here in the UK, make for a formidable team and we can look forward to an exciting future together.”