Eurazeo, a Paris-listed private equity group, has entered exclusive negotiations with fellow French firm PAI Partners to buy Elis, a textile business with revenues of almost €1 billion.
PAI bought Elis in October 2002 for €1.5 billion, its biggest ever solo deal. The French business provides rental and cleaning of workwear, and also “wellbeing services” like drinks dispensers, coffee machines and bathroom products.
Elis now has revenues of about €950 million and employs more than 13,000 people across Europe – about 2000 more than when PAI bought the business. It is a market leader in France and well-established in a number of other European countries.
Eurazeo was reportedly also interested in buying the business in 2001, but lost out to PAI. The French firm’s winning bid included what was then the largest mezzanine tranche seen on a European deal.