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Logans sell partnership to equity firm

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By Steve Doyle

One of Shelbyville’s oldest family-owned businesses has a new out-of-town partner.

An equity stake in Logan’s Linens has been acquired by Thompson Street Capital Partners, a private equity fund based in St. Louis.

Logan’s, which was founded in 1925, specializes in health-care linen management and uniform rental services to more than 50 medical facilities and 500 industrial businesses throughout the Midwest.

It is operated by brothers Arthur Logan and Howard Logan Jr., the third generation of the founding family.

But this week the Logans announced a deal they had been considering since early summer, to  give a position in their company to Thompson Street, a firm that manages $445 million in private equity funds in 24 manufacturing and service companies, including several similar to Logan’s.

And Thompson Street really likes Logan’s, Managing Director Vince Warrick said.

“We liked the brothers, and we liked the stability of the company. Art and Howard have done a real nice job in managing the business. They have managed their customer accounts and client base well,” Warrick said.

“For more than 84 years Logan’s has built its strong reputation by focusing on the ever-changing needs of our customers,” Art Logan, president of Logan’s Uniform Rental Division, said in a statement.

Added Howard Logan, who manages the Logan’s Linens Healthcare Division, “We look forward to working with Thompson Street Capital Partners to ensure our continued growth as the industry expands.

William Lindsey Logan Sr. started a business in Shelbyville as a single plant, located for years on the corner of Washington and 10th streets, which served the laundry and dry-cleaning needs of families with home deliveries.

The company split into two, Logan’s Healthcare Linen System and the Logan’s Uniform Rental Company. The two plants are located next to each other on Harry Long Road in the Industrial Park.

Through all of that, it had been under family ownership, but now that has changed.Thompson Street’s role in the company is as a partner, a collaborator with the Logans, Warrick said. There will be a board of directors on which both Logans would sit, though its exact makeup has not been completed.

“Our first objective is: First, do no harm,” Warrick said. “But we’ll do everything in as collaborative way as possible. Art and Howard know the business and will be doing the work. They’re still in charge.”

Thompson Street could help in acquisition and any necessary improvements, though Warrick says one of the things his group liked was the new facility for their healthcare operation that the Logans opened a few years ago. “It’s a state-of-the-art new facility,” he said, “and it gives them such scale. There’s opportunity there.”

Warrick said there is significant competition in the uniform side, but that in evaluating the deal, his company relied on an employee who formerly had worked at one of those companies. That employee’s insights were significant in the evaluation of this deal.

“There’s not as much competition in the health-care side, and we see opportunity there,” Warrick said.