UNICCO Services Co. has been bought out by United Group Limited, an Australian diversified service and infrastructure company. The acquisition, announced in mid-July, is worth $410 million.

UNICCO, based in Newton, Mass., is one of North America’s largest integrated facilities services companies, with about 18,000 employees. Sydney-based United Group Limited partners with blue chip and government customers in the property, rail, water, power, transport and resources sectors. The acquisition is part of the United Group’s strategy to build a global property services company, and allows United Group to now offer a full range of property services.

UNICCO controls about 9 percent of the U.S. market, providing operations, maintenance, janitorial and administration services to more than 1,000 customers.

The transaction is expected to close in September, after which the combined company will have 30,000 employees. The change should not have much of an impact on current employees and most customers will notice little change with the switch in corporate ownership, according to a UNICCO press release.

Chairman and CEO of UNICCO, Steve Kletjian, as well as vice chairmen Richard J. Kletjian and Robert P. Kletjian, will be departing as the transaction closes.

“After more than 50 years in this business, my family and I thought it was an appropriate time to explore new opportunities to provide our customers with the widest breadth of innovative services that reflect all of their needs as well as current market trends,” Steve Kletjian said in the release. “United Group is an outstanding company that can provide UNICCO with access to capital and a global presence that will significantly enhance UNICCO’s growth opportunities.”

He will continue to provide advisory services to United Group’s Managing Director and CEO, Richard Leupen.

‘ChildSafe’ List Launched

A list of cleaning products that meet the highest standards for health and safety, specifically targeted at children, will be available online, thanks to Grassroots Environmental Education, a New York-based nonprofit organization.

ChildSafe Guidelines are a set of criteria based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Interior purchasing recommendations. The list establishes threshold limits for common chemicals found in commercial cleaning products associated with increased incidences of environmentally-mediated illnesses such as asthma, allergies, learning and behavioral disorders and some types of cancer.

Products from 29 manufacturers are on the list, which was assembled based on manufacturer affidavits that their products met or exceeded the guideline recommendations.


  • Janitors in Cincinnati won their first citywide union contract at the end of July, gaining higher wages, more work hours and health insurance. The city’s 1,200 janitors and eight largest cleaning companies worked together on the agreement, which increases the income for a majority of workers by 129 percent over the course of the contract. The win is the latest in Service Employees International Union’s (SEIU) Justice for Janitors campaign, which has seen similar results in Houston and Miami.
  • The Janitorial division of Southland Landscape Corp., Charleston, S.C.-based FMI Services Group, has merged with St. Moritz Building Services Inc., an entity of the St. Moritz Group, Pittsburgh. The merger completes the second and final phase of a planned one-year merger between the operations. All FMI/Southland staff will remain in the same capacity as prior to the merger, and FMI Vice President and General Manager Rich Reagan will continue to lead the company. Mark Moniger, president of St. Moritz, and Phil St. Moritz, founder and CEO of St. Moritz, will join the management team, and Southland’s president, Don Pottlieger Jr., will join St. Moritz as a consultant.
Industry Accolade

Tennant Co., Minneapolis, has been named by KLD Research and Analytics to the 2007 Domini 400 Social Index (DS400), which recognizes companies for their performance as social and environmental stewards. The list names 400 companies that demonstrate leadership in corporate social responsibility. The company’s inclusion in the index was determined based on analysis of community relations, diversity, employee relations, human rights, product quality and safety, and environment and corporate governance. KLD is an independent investment research firm.