JLA (company)

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JLA Group
John Laithwaite Associates
Private Limited Company
IndustryManufacturing and Service
ProductsCommercial equipment, regulatory compliance tools, Laundry equipment, catering equipment, OTEX infection control, medical equipment & detergents
  • IncreaseGBP£42.9 million (2015)
  • GBP£27.5 million (2014)
  • IncreaseGBP£3.6 million (2015)
  • GBP£1.6 million (2014)
Total assets
  • IncreaseGBP£8.9 million (2015)
  • GBP£5.0 million(2014)
Number of employees
800 [2]
ParentJLA Equityco Limited

The JLA Group is a provider of the distribution, rental and servicing of commercial laundry equipment, commercial dishwashers and regulatory compliance tools. The company is the market-leading distributor of commercial laundry and catering[citation needed][3] equipment in the UK, having recorded circa 30 per cent market share in 2011.[4] Founded in 1973, JLA is based in Ripponden, West Yorkshire, UK.[5][6]


JLA was founded as John Laithwaite Associates Limited in 1973 in Ripponden, West Yorkshire, UK.[5] While JLA initially specialised only in commercial laundry equipment distribution, by 1982 the company had begun to offer a rental model combining both machines and servicing which is now known as Total Care.

In April 2002, JLA acquired Circuit Managed Laundry, which is now a fully incorporated division of JLA. Circuit provides managed laundry rooms for residential buildings (such as university campuses, holiday parks and housing associations) throughout the UK.

In 2010, JLA expanded with a division named Black Box Intelligence. This division was established as an umbrella brand for its new compliance and building management system products, Legionella Intelligence and Boiler Intelligence.

In February 2011, JLA secured a £12.5 million funding package from Lloyds Banking Group Corporate Markets.[7][8] The package consisted of £7.5 million for capital expenditure and a £5 million working capital facility.[7][8]

JLA added a detergents division, JLA Clean, in 2011, and introduced a warewashing division in 2012. In 2013, the company launched its medical and catering divisions,[9] and launched a commercial heating division in 2017.

Acquisition by HgCapital[edit]

On 26 March 2010, HgCapital announced that they had acquired a majority stake in JLA Limited.[10] The deal was valued between £150 million and £175 million, and the acquisition attracted national attention,[11][12] with both The Telegraph [11] and Reuters[13] covering the story.

JLA Acquisitions[edit]

JLA has made a number of acquisitions since 2010. In 2011, the company acquired Mason of Blackpool, a regional commercial equipment distributor. In 2013, JLA acquired the Carford Group, a major catering equipment distributor and service supplier [14] , followed by PHS Laundryserv in July 2015.

Other businesses acquired by JLA include Red Squared, Wilson’s Electrics, CKM, Harmony Business and Technology, Proton Washrite, Newco and Comcat Engineering.[15]

Products and Services[edit]

Photograph of a current JLA product, the JLA7 Washing Machine
JLA7 Washing Machine

As a commercial equipment supplier, JLA distributes its own branded machines, which includes washers, tumble dryers, catering equipment, dishwashers, sluice room equipment, commercial boilers and hot water cylinders.[16]

The company's main service offering is Total Care, a comprehensive equipment and service package. JLA also offers breakdown-only repairs, as well as contract-based breakdown insurance and service plans.

In November 2001, JLA launched their S.A.F.E. (an acronym for Sensor Activated Fire Extinguishing) system for tumble dryers. The system works by utilising two sensors which constantly monitor the temperature in the dryer drum, and which activate a water vapour mechanism that extinguishes the fire before it can escape the drum.[17]

OTEX, JLA's ozone disinfection system for laundry OTEX,[18] was launched in June 2004, following a £3m investment programme. In 2009 OTEX received level 1 classification from the Department of Health NHS Rapid Review Panel for its infection control qualities. The report stated that OTEX is ‘the most effective laundry disinfection system for eradicating microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts, moulds and viruses'.[19][20]

In September 2010, the company launched two new products through its newly formed division Black Box Intelligence. Legionella Intelligence was developed as a wireless web-based system for monitoring the prevalence of Legionella via temperature sensors. Boiler Intelligence is a building management system which controls heating and boiler activity in properties.

JLA launched its SMART Wash range in 2013. The washing machines incorporate ‘JLA Sense’ technology to automatically gauge the amount of water needed during a wash cycle. This was followed in 2014 by the SMART Dry range of tumble dryers, which feature S.A.F.E. technology and are programmed to calculate how long it will take for individual loads to dry.[21][22]


JLA won the National Customer Service Award for Field Management in 2008.[23]

In 2009, the Department of Health NHS Rapid Review Panel awarded JLA’s OTEX ozone laundry system level 1 classification for infection control products.[20]

JLA were shortlisted for the Yorkshire Innovator award for the Yorkshire Business Masters’ Awards in June 2010.[24]


Circuit Managed Laundry has attracted criticisms from the student population for its in house laundry systems on university campuses.[25][26][27][28]


  1. ^ a b c "JLA LIMITED Filing History, Companies House Gov.uk". Retrieved 2017-04-09.
  2. ^ "JLA Today". Retrieved 2017-04-09.
  3. ^ [1] Archived 2015-06-23 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "JLA Deal Highlights Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets". 2011-10-10. Archived from the original on 2012-04-15. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
  5. ^ a b "JLA LIMITED - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
  6. ^ Work Smart, JLA Limited, accessed 10 October 2011. Archived 7 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ a b Insider Media Limited, JLA cleans up with £12.5m deal, 3 February 2011. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  8. ^ a b The Star, Lloyds cleans up with loan, 8 February 2011. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  9. ^ JLA News, JLA Launches Catering Division
  10. ^ HgCapital, HgCapital invests in JLA Limited, the UK's largest laundry equipment supplier, 26 March 2010. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  11. ^ a b The Telegraph, JLA founder to earn multi-million pound fortune from sale of business, 27 March 2010. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  12. ^ Yorkshire Post, Private equity takes majority stake in JLA, 26 March 2010. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  13. ^ Reuters, HG Capital in talks to buy laundry firm - sources, 8 March 2010. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  14. ^ Ltd, Insider Media. "JLA Group acquires catering equipment distributor". Insider Media Ltd. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
  15. ^ Ltd, Insider Media. "JLA Group acquires catering equipment distributor". Insider Media Ltd. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
  16. ^ "Laundry giant JLA spins into catering equipment - Catering Insight". Catering Insight. 2013-10-31. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
  17. ^ careinfo.org Archived 2011-10-20 at the Wayback Machine, New S.A.F.E. system tackles safety problem of fires in laundry dryers , November 2001. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  18. ^ YouTube, JLA OTEX at York Hospital on BBC Look North, 22 April 2008. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  19. ^ Health Protection Agency, Cleaning, Disinfection and Decontamination Archived 2011-10-06 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 10 October 2011.
  20. ^ a b Health Protection Agency, JLA Ltd - OTEX Laundry System Archived 2011-10-15 at the Wayback Machine, September 2009. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  21. ^ "JLA Launches New Range of Smart Wash Washing Machines - Hotel Business". www.hotel-magazine.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
  22. ^ "JLA launches new SMART Dry range - Hotel Business". www.hotel-magazine.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
  23. ^ Yorkshire Post, Cleaning up in the world of laundry, 4 November 2008. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  24. ^ Laundry and Cleaning News International, JLA and Hainsworth shortlisted for Yorkshire business awards, 3 June 2010. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  25. ^ "Circuit Laundry is the worst thing about being a fresher". The Tab Manchester. 2016-05-15. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
  26. ^ "Daylight Robbery: The Implications of the Digital Laundrette on Campus". Warwick Globalist. 2015-12-28. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
  27. ^ Vision, York (2013-01-15). "Student services are a wash out | York Vision". York Vision. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
  28. ^ Smith, Paige (2017-04-03). "SMITH: I hate laundry very much". dailyfreepress.com. Retrieved 2017-04-09.

External links[edit]