Much of what keeps companies running behind the scenes, from washroom services and drinks dispensers to in-house laundry, landscape design and document shredding, is taken care of by companies such as PHS. The Caerphilly company has 48 locations throughout Britain, and says it has more than 200,000 customers. Last year it spent £75m on acquisitions including Spanish Serkonten and two appliance-testing businesses. In 2005, Charterhouse Capital backed a £773m buyout to take the company private. Under chief executive Peter Cohen, sales reached £355.6m in 2009.
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