Thousands of Finnish cleaners may get new employer
Purchase offer for world's largest cleaning and maintenance company
A Swedish and an American investment fund made an unexpected offer on Tuesday to buy the world's largest cleaning company ISS. The Copenhagen-based cleaning and maintenance giant employs 273,000 people in 42 countries.
If the offer is accepted, the approximately 7,000 employees of the Finnish subsidiary of ISS, who formerly worked for the state-owned Engel, will work for the new owner. Engel was bought out by ISS last year.
The offer was made by the Capital Partners 2000 fund of the American investment bank Goldman Sachs, and by the Swedish EQT Fund, which is part of the Wallenberg Group.
EQT said on Tuesday that there would be no changes to the position of the employees. Both investors also said that they would take an active role in the management of the companies under their ownership.
ISS, which operates cleaning, building maintenance, and catering services, has experienced significant growth in recent years. From its Copenhagen headquarters it has bought more than 350 companies in different countries since 1998.
Matti Kyytsönen, CEO of the Finnish ISS Palvelut Oy, does not believe that any new ownership arrangements would have much of an impact on Finland, especially as the business is in very good shape in this country.
"According to the annual report of the concern, the most developed service concept of all ISS companies is in Finland, which is saying quite a bit for a group that operates in more than 40 countries."
Last year, the Finnish ISS was recognised as the best subsidiary in the whole concern.
In Finland ISS employs a total of 13,300 people. In addition to the 7,000 cleaners formerly employed by the state-run Engel, the company is involved in building maintenance and security. Its turnover was about EUR 330 million last year, and the company is expanding to the Baltic States and Russia.