ONE OF Bromsgrove’s oldest family firms LG Harris and Co has been bought by Norwegian firm Orkla for £55million.
The company, which was founded in 1928 and has its base in Stoke Prior, employs 350 people in Bromsgrove and a further 650 at a factory in China.
The firm is a market leader for painting tools in the UK and, although the majority of the company’s sales are to the UK market, it also exports and has become renowned around the World for producing quality paint brushes and other DIY equipment.
Harris also owns 50 per cent of a joint venture with a local partner in India, serving the Indian market and the company has a minority shareholding in a painting tool manufacturer in Sri Lanka.
In the last 12 months – up until March this year – the total sales revenue for the successful family firm was £60.9million and its Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) are around £5.7million.
All these aspects made LG Harris an attractive proposition for the multi-billion pound Norwegian firm.
Orkla is a leading supplier of branded consumer goods and concept solutions, out-of-home and bakery markets in the Nordic and Baltic regions and selected markets in Central Europe and India.
It is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange and its head office is in Oslo, Norway.
In 2015, the group had a total turnover of approximately £2.8billion, and 14,670 employees at the end of that year.
The agreement with LG Harris is subject to the approval of the UK competition authorities and it is anticipated, provided it is given the go ahead, the transition will be completed in the coming months.
LG Harris’ managing director Gary Jordan told The Standard: “Although no decisions have been made as to the future structure of Harris within the Orkla group, the site and skills we have here in Bromsgrove will be a very important asset within the organisation and I’m confident that when decisions are made, we will see that recognised.
“We have been a feature of Bromsgrove for more than 70 years and that’s not likely to change going into the future.
“The prospects of being part of a much larger organisation is likely to result in even greater opportunities.”
Bjørn Drabløs, the chief executive officer of Orkla House Care, described his company and Harris as ‘a good fit’.
“With well-established brands and solid customer relations, Harris holds a leading market position in the UK.
“With the acquisition of Harris, Orkla House Care is significantly strengthening its presence in the UK and expanding its portfolio in the DIY market,” he added.