JLA (company)

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JLA Group
Private Limited Company
Industry Manufacturing and Service
Founded 1973
Headquarters Ripponden, England
Products Commercial equipment, regulatory compliance tools, Laundry equipment, catering equipment, OTEX infection control, medical equipment & detergents
Number of employees
800 [1]
Website www.jla.com

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[2] equipment in the UK, having recorded circa 30 per cent market share in 2011.[3] Founded in 1973, JLA is based in Ripponden, West Yorkshire, UK.[4]


JLA was founded in 1973.[4] Initially specialising in only the distribution of commercial washing machines and dryers, JLA adapted their business model in 1998. This new approach offered machines and service as a packaged rental product.

In April 2002, JLA acquired Circuit, a company which provides fully managed laundries for residential establishments (such as university campuses and housing associations) across the UK. Circuit has now become a fully incorporated division of JLA.

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.[5][6] The package consisted of £7.5 million for capital expenditure and a £5 million working capital facility.[5][6]

Acquisition by HgCapital[edit]

On 26 March 2010, it was announced that HgCapital had acquired a majority stake in JLA Limited.[7] The deal was valued between £150million-£175 million.[8][9]

The acquisition attracted the attention of the national media, with both The Telegraph [8] and Reuters[10] covering the story.

JLA Acquisitions[edit]

In July 2011, JLA acquired Mason of Blackpool, a regional commercial equipment distributor.

In 2013 JLA acquired the Carford Group, a £14m-turnover catering equipment distributor and service provider which employed 137 people - including 70 service engineers.[11]

In recent years JLA has also acquired other catering businesses including Red Squared, CKM, Proton Washrite and Harmony Business & Technology as well as making its first acquisition in Scotland with the takeover of Aberdeen-based Comcat Engineering.[12]

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, including JLA washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers, rotary ironers and finishing tables. Through its catering division, the company also distributes commercial ovens, combi ovens, cooktops, fridges and freezers.[13]

JLA’s service division incorporates three offerings: Total Care, JLA Response and breakdown-only repairs. Total Care provides machines and service in a singular rental package. JLA Response comprises contract-based laundry breakdown insurance and service plans.

In November 2001, JLA launched their S.A.F.E. (an acronym for Sensor Activated Fire Extinguishing) dryer system. S.A.F.E. was developed to stop dryer fires by utilising two sensors which detect the change in temperature when a blaze starts in a dryer drum. These sensors then activate a water vapour mechanism to put out the fire.[14]

JLA’s ozone disinfection laundry system OTEX[15] was developed in June 2004, after a £3m investment programme. In 2009 OTEX received level 1 classification from the Department of Health NHS Rapid Review Panel for infection control products. The report stated that OTEX is ‘the most effective laundry disinfection system for eradicating microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts, moulds and viruses'.[16][17]

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.

In 2013 JLA launched a SMART Wash range, which incorporated 'JLA Sense' absorption technology which is able to automatically gauge the appropriate amount of water needed in a wash cycle.[18] The washing machine range was followed in 2014 by a SMART Dry range of tumble dryers - the first new dryer release for the company in almost 7 years.[19]


JLA won the National Customer Service Award for Field Management in 2008.[20]

In 2009, the Department of Health NHS Rapid Review Panel awarded JLA’s OTEX ozone laundry system level 1 classification for infection control products.[17]

JLA were shortlisted for the Yorkshire Innovator award for the Yorkshire Business Masters’ Awards in June 2010.[21]


  1. ^ "http://www.jla.com/about-jla"
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets, JLA Deal Highlights, accessed 10 October 2011.
  4. ^ a b Work Smart, JLA Limited, accessed 10 October 2011.
  5. ^ a b Insider Media Limited, JLA cleans up with £12.5m deal, 3 February 2011. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  6. ^ a b The Star, Lloyds cleans up with loan, 8 February 2011. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  7. ^ HgCapital, HgCapital invests in JLA Limited, the UK's largest laundry equipment supplier, 26 March 2010. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  8. ^ a b The Telegraph, JLA founder to earn multi-million pound fortune from sale of business, 27 March 2010. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  9. ^ Yorkshire Post, Private equity takes majority stake in JLA, 26 March 2010. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  10. ^ Reuters, HG Capital in talks to buy laundry firm - sources, 8 March 2010. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ [3]
  13. ^ [4]
  14. ^ careinfo.org, New S.A.F.E. system tackles safety problem of fires in laundry dryers, November 2001. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  15. ^ YouTube, JLA OTEX at York Hospital on BBC Look North, 22 April 2008. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  16. ^ Health Protection Agency, Cleaning, Disinfection and Decontamination, accessed 10 October 2011.
  17. ^ a b Health Protection Agency, JLA Ltd - OTEX Laundry System, September 2009. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  18. ^ [5]
  19. ^ [6]
  20. ^ Yorkshire Post, Cleaning up in the world of laundry, 4 November 2008. Accessed 10 October 2011.
  21. ^ Laundry and Cleaning News International, JLA and Hainsworth shortlisted for Yorkshire business awards, 3 June 2010. Accessed 10 October 2011.

External links[edit]