Johnson spends £11m on dry cleaning outfits

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The Independent Online

The dry cleaning and workwear specialist Johnson Service Group has continued its expansion with three acquisitions in the past two days.

The deals mean that Johnson will part with about £11m of the £27m it raised this year by selling its Irish textile rental business and Johnsons Washroom Services.

Johnson is paying $1.85m cash for the retail dry cleaning division of Brooks Service Group, which has 38 branches in southern England where few of Johnson's 500 outlets are located. Turnover at Brooks is about £4.6m a year and net assets are £1m.

Stuart Graham, Johnson's chief executive, said: "There still remains scope to significantly expand the Johnson brand into the Greater London area."

Johnson is also buying the international franchise arm of Jeeves of Belgravia, having acquired its UK dry cleaning operations in May. On Monday Johnson conditionally agreed to buy Workplace Management from Chesterton International for £9m. The acquisition provides a springboard into the property and facilities management sector Mr Graham has identified as a growth area.

Johnson shares rose 8.5p to 323.5p yesterday but they are still off last month's peak of 352p.

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