Consumer products firm Kao Corp. acquired US detergent-maker Washing Systems LLC to strengthen its business in the growing North American commercial laundry market. A purchase price was not disclosed, but sources say Kao paid "several tens of billions of yen" to Gryphon Investors.
Founded in 1989, Washing Systems develops and sells detergent for laundry companies mainly in North America and has a reputation for eco-friendly products, Kao said. Washing Systems President John Walroth will continue to lead the company, and the current management team will continue to lead the day-to-day business.
The acquisition is the latest move by Kao to extend its reach outside Japan. Last year, the company purchased US prestige brand Oribe Hair Care LLC.