Gilchrist & Soames buy-out moves one step closer

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hotel

Business development company Allied Capital has pledged $51m
towards the buyout of hotels personal care and amenities supplier
Gilchrist & Soames by private equity group Swander Pace
Capital.

Allied Capital is lending a significant proportion of the total cost of the buyout to San Francisco-based Swander Pace Capital as a revolving line of credit. The final buyout figure has not been revealed. The new owners say they intend to grow the business, focusing further on the supply of both the spa and luxury segments of the hospitality industry. Gilchrist & Soames is active in the UK, where it was first established, and has become increasingly active in the North American hospitality market, particularly following its acquisition by Indiana-based E&A Industries in 1998. This gave the company the opportunity to expand its distribution in the all-important US hospitality market, an opportunity that was further boosted by the 2002 acquisition of Essential Elements, a San Francisco-based company specializing in essential oil-based personal care products for the spa market. Additionally the company's product portfolio includes cosmetic-grade toiletry collections for both national and international hotel chains, with a particular focus on the luxury end of the market. However, more recently the company has been hit by the FDA's ban on toothpaste and other oral care products manufactured in China. Following the FDA ban implemented in June of this year, the company said that it made a voluntary recall of its complimentary toothpastes manufactured in China after independent tests showed that some samples contained the potentially lethal chemical diethylene glycol, or DEG. Hotels that were supplied with the toothpaste samples were consequently asked to safely dispose of any remaining stocks.

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