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New Owners Target Growth for Adco

Ian P. Murphy |

SEDALIA, Mo. — The new owners of Adco Inc., Cambridge, Mass.-based equity firm Mentor Partners, says that it plans to leverage the chemical company’s 99-year history of excellence in product development and customer service into new growth.
“Adco, as a leader in its industry, is our kind of company,” says Stephen LeGraw, president of Mentor Partners. “It has established a tradition of excellence that has set the standard in the commercial laundry and drycleaning industry.
“The company is known throughout the industry for its high-quality products and customer service,” Le Graw adds, “and in partnership with the company’s management and staff, we intend to leverage Adco’s standing in the industry to expand and grow the business.”
Adco officials revealed yesterday that they had sold the company after courting buyers wishing to run the company much as it has been for nearly a century — by three generations of the Van Dyne family. “We have no fourth generation,” says CEO Van Van Dyne, “and we wanted to keep the company here in Sedalia, so our employees would stay employed.”
Attracted by Adco’s substantial market share, Mentor Partners assumed ownership of Adco on April 13 for an undisclosed sum. Observers estimate that the company currently holds 30% to 40% of the market for drycleaning chemicals and related products.
Launched as American Disinfecting Co. in 1908, Adco Inc. is a worldwide leader in research and development, manufacturing, and distribution of chemical products for the drycleaning and laundry trades.
Van Dyne will stay on to run the company for at least two years, and says staffing, research and distribution will continue under the new ownership virtually unchanged. “I see no changes ahead in the way we do business,” he said yesterday. “The name will remain Adco, and sales and service will not change — they could even get better. Our customers will probably never know.”

About the author

Ian P. Murphy

American Drycleaner

Ian P. Murphy is a freelance writer based in Chicago, and was the editor of American Drycleaner from 1999 to 2011.

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