WALTHAM, Mass. — Mac-Gray Corp., the nation’s largest provider of laundry facilities management services, has acquired Automatic Laundry Company Ltd. for $116 million. Based in Denver, with nine branch offices throughout the country, Automatic is a division of the Pace Companies in Fort Worth, Texas, and is estimated to be the fourth largest facilities contractor in the nation.Acquiring Automatic will enable Mac-Gray to increase its operational density, and therefore efficiency, within several key markets, including Denver, Phoenix, Seattle, Dallas and Birmingham, Ala., the company says. The immediate benefit will be the opportunity to capture cost savings by combining branch offices and closing redundant facilities, the company adds.“Automatic fulfills the promise of our January 2005 acquisition, which established our roadmap for creating a larger Mac-Gray footprint in the western United States,” says Stewart G. MacDonald, Mac-Gray’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We are already in all 11 states where they do business, and the combination of Automatic with our 2005 acquired operations now provides us with a very strong market in a number of key metropolitan areas, including Denver, Phoenix, Seattle and Dallas.”Mac-Gray serves 80,000 multi-housing facilities located in 43 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, Mac-Gray sells, services and leases commercial laundry equipment to Laundromats.