A significant number of building service contractors may notice a change in their jan/san distributor. Interline Brands Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., a national distributor and direct marketer of maintenance, repair and operations products has agreed to acquire the vast majority of American Sanitary Inc. (AmSan), a leading national distributor of jan/san products based in Deerfield, Ill.

AmSan sells cleaning supplies to more than 50,000 customers in 40 states. AmSan will retain its name and remain focused on the jan/san market. However, the acquisition will allow AmSan to reach even more BSCs. Interline operates in more than 20 markets where AmSan is absent, including Las Vegas, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Orlando and Phoenix.

Excluded from the deal, however, were operation facilities in Sacramento, Calif., and Los Angeles, also known as AmSan West. These facilities have been shut down since the announcement. Also excluded was the Portland, Ore., facility, which was sold to Service Paper Co., Seattle.

A number of other recent mergers and acquisitions have changed the marketplace of the cleaning industry:


  • Alfred Karcher GmbH & Co. KG, Winnenden, Germany, has acquired Castle Rock Industries Inc., Englewood, Colo., the parent company of Windsor, Prochem, Century 400, TecServ and Graco brands.

  • Tacony Corp. Fenton, Mo., has acquired Truvox International, Southampton, United Kingdom. Cimex-USA, Tallmadge, Ohio, manufactured by Truvox, however, will continue to be the sole importer of Cimex commercial floorcare machines for North America.

  • Mountville Mills (&/or The Andersen Co.), LaGrange, Ga., has acquired all the assets of the Golden Star Inc., North Kansas City, Kan., matting division. Golden Star will now focus exclusively on its mopping systems. Together the two companies will be collaborating to jointly support their customers.

  • Italian-based Filmop S.r.l., recently acquired HPC Cleaning Innovation, LLC. The newly formed HPC Cleaning Innovations, LLC (HPCC) / Filmop Group will be headquartered in Conroe, Texas.

  • Finally, in BSC moves, Harvard Maintenance Inc., a New York-based independent building service provider has acquired Chicago-based Elite Maintenance Inc., a private janitorial firm operating in five states. Harvard Maintenance will retain Elite’s nearly 600 employees, and commercial properties under contract with Elite will continue to be serviced under the Elite name.

Soaps Get Green Certification

Building service contractors can offer their customers a complete green restroom featuring towel, tissue and now, soap products. Green Seal and the Environmental Choice Program (ECP) jointly introduce GS-41 certification of hand cleaners and hand soaps.

The certification builds on and replaces the previous ECP Certification Criteria Document (CCD) 104, “Industrial Hand Cleaners.”

To achieve certification, products must meet stringent requirements based on performance; limited toxicity for aquatic and other organisms; biodegradability; limits on ingredients that contribute to environmental and health risks; and limited waste and resource use.


UM Janitors Form Union
Janitors at the University of Miami have successfully organized with the Service Employees International Union. Janitors were on strike for nine weeks before reaching an agreement with their employer, Newton, Mass.-based Unicco Service Co., to put the decision for unionization up to a vote (see May NewsBriefs). More than 60 percent of the 400-plus workers voted in favor of the union.

JohnsonDiversey, Sturtevant, Wis., will cease formulating and manufacturing products with alkylphenol ethoxydates (APEOs) after December 31, 2006. APEOs have been used for more than 50 years in cleaning products and have been associated with harmful effects in the environment, especially on aquatic life. APEOs also may have harmful effects on humans.

Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Winchester, Va., received the Circle of Humanitarians Award from the American Red Cross for their assistance in the wake of destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina.