Orkla’s purchase of L.G. Harris & Co. Limited (‘Harris’) has now been completed. Harris is a leading supplier of DIY painting tools in the UK, and with this acquisition Orkla House Care has doubled the size of its operations.
The agreement to purchase Harris was announced in May this year. The assessment of the agreement under competition law was concluded at the end of July, and the transaction was completed on 31 August 2016.
“We are very pleased to have concluded our acquisition of Harris successfully. With the purchase of Harris, Orkla House Care is significantly strengthening its presence in the UK and expanding its portfolio in the DIY market,” said Johs Hoeg, CEO of Orkla House Care.
Harris is the market leader for painting tools in the UK DIY market with well-known brands such as Harris, Lynwood, Harris Victory and T-Class. The bulk of the company’s sales are made in the UK market, but it also has some export business. It owns two factories, one in Stoke Prior, Bromsgrove, which is also the head office, and the other in Zhaoqing City in Guangdong Province, China. Harris also owns 50% of a joint venture with a local partner in India, serving the Indian market and has a minority shareholding in a painting tool manufacturer in Sri Lanka.
In total, it has almost 1,000 employees. Orkla House Care already owns the Jordan, Anza, Spekter and Hamilton brands, with Hamilton being the leading professional paint application brand in the UK. Orkla House Care is a leading supplier of painting tools in the Nordic region and is one of Europe’s largest painting tool manufacturers.
The consolidated business in the UK will be headed up by Stuart Hobbs, currently Sales and Marketing Director at Harris. Gary Jordan, the current MD, has decided to retire from the industry. Steve Edwards will continue in his role as MD of Hamilton through the planned integration phase and will then take up the position of Business Development Director for Orkla House Care.
Stuart Hobbs said: “I am excited to be leading this phase of the company’s development in the UK and to be part of a strong international group The combination of Harris and Hamilton in the UK presents a very powerful proposition. We will continue to operate distinct sales and marketing strategies for the two brands and the channels in which they operate while looking to consolidate those functional areas where it makes sense to do so.”
As a result of the acquisition, a proposal to close the UK operations at Hamilton Acorn’s head office in Attleborough, Norfolk and to consolidate the business into one site in Stoke Prior, Bromsgrove has been announced. Staff will be consulted over this proposed change during the coming weeks.