SMS unit buys Philly company

Combined venture targets downtown improvement districts

SMS Holdings executives said Thursday they have bought a 300-employee company that markets safety, cleaning and hospitality services for downtowns across the country. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The purchase of Service Group Inc. by SMS’ Block by Block subsidiary creates a business that employs 1,300 people and works with more than 60 downtown improvement districts in 37 states, said Keith Wolken, SMS Holdings chairman. SGI is based in the greater Philadelphia area and was founded in 1989.

Wolken said Block by Block will keep its name and continue to be led by President Jeremy Curran of Louisville. SMS acquired Block by Block in 2008.

“This is an exceptional opportunity,” Curran said. “This merger gives us greater resources to serve this geographically diverse group of communities and their citizens while enhancing the overall growth potential of Block by Block.”

Wolken said SMS Holdings should book revenues of almost $400 million in 2013. The company also runs businesses that, among other things, provide housekeeping, maintenance and security services as well as passenger assistance and ground handling services in airports. The company employs more than 14,000 people around the country.