Bidvest acquisition of PHS expected to accelerate the hygiene industry during Covid-19

CEO Lindsay Ralphs says the acquisition marks an important step in Bidvest's internationalisation.

Bidvest has announced that the requirements for the acquisition of the PHS Group have been fulfilled and that it will proceed. 

According to a statement, Bidvest will fund the transaction through third-party external GBP-dominated debt of GBP495 million.

The acquisition of the PHS Group is in line with Bidvest’s stated strategic intent to expand its presence beyond South Africa in asset-light businesses. 

According to a statement, the PHS service offering and geographic presence are complementary to Bidvest’s Services division. “The hygiene market is resilient and is supported by structural growth drivers such as urbanisation, hygiene and safety standards as well as a growing and ageing population, to name a few,” says Bidvest CEO Lindsay Ralphs. “The global outbreak of Covid-19 has undoubtedly heightened the awareness of and need for out-of-home hygiene. This is expected to accelerate the development and maturity of the industry globally.”

He adds that Bidvest’s foray into hygiene services dates back to 1991 when it acquired Steiner. “Since then, Bidvest Steiner quadrupled its reach organically to become the number one hygiene service provider in South Africa, competing against global players.” 

According to Lindsay, the acquisition of PHS marks another important step in Bidvest’s internationalisation, even more so during this time of heightened hygiene awareness.