Bedford based Kartell UK gets new year off to positive start by acquiring Humber Doors of Hull

Move follows £multi-million acquisition in December to further support growth plans for the business

By Newsroom
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 9:42 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 10:22 am

A Bedford-based supplier of heating and bathroom products has got 2022 off to a positive start - hot on the heels of a multi-million pound investment.

Bedford based Kartell UK Ltd, one of the largest and fastest-growing suppliers of heating and bathroom products, has completed the acquisition of Summerbridge Holdings Ltd and its subsidiary Humber Doors Ltd, which trades as Summerbridge.

The acquisition comes on the back of Kartell’s multi-million pound investment last month, in Vogue (UK) Ltd, the UK’s leading designer and manufacturer of heated towel rails and associated products.

Founded in 2008,Bedford based Kartell is the largest supplier of radiators, designer towel warmers and bathroom products to the independent and merchant showroom sector in the UK

With a history dating back 30 years, Summerbridge employs more than 120 people, delivering more than £7m in annual sales. Kartell’s acquisition of Summerbridge represents the next chapter in the history of the prominent Hull business, with the Kartell group securing a supply of high-quality British-made bathroom cabinets for its customers.

Founded in 2008, Kartell is the largest supplier of radiators, designer towel warmers and bathroom products to the independent and merchant showroom sector in the UK.

The group, which has its headquarters in Manton Lane, turns over in excess of £125m, with brands including K-RAD, K-VIT, JT and Vogue, and employs more than 430 people across principal sites in Bedford, Wigan, Willenhall and Leeds.

Alex Norford, chief executive of Kartell, said: “In common with many in our industry we have experienced record levels of demand over the last 18 months. We always strive to deliver exactly what our customers require and recognised we needed to secure additional bathroom furniture supply to provide the consistent, high quality products our customers expect from us.

"It is with great pleasure we are supporting the future of another fantastic British manufacturer and having identified the benefits Hull’s status as a Freeport can bring to the group, we were keen to be invested in a city which is clearly making giant strides in the UK economy. I am really excited to have the opportunity to welcome everyone at Summerbridge into our group and offer our customers their top quality, British-made cabinetry moving forward.”

As part of the deal, Summerbridge will continue to operate as a standalone business within the Kartell group under the guidance of the existing management team and will benefit from opportunities to work closely with the group’s other businesses, including Just Trays, a leading shower tray manufacturer, in Leeds and Vogue, a specialist manufacturer of designer towel warmers, in Willenhall and their customers.

The group management team will work closely with the Summerbridge team to develop the business in the UK and internationally, with the group expecting significant growth across their core markets.

Simon Lunt, director of Summerbridge Holdings, said: “When we received the approach from Kartell’s advisors we immediately saw the potential for the two businesses to join forces. We acquired Summerbridge in 2018 and have worked alongside the wonderful team at the business to put it back on the path to growth and to realise its undoubted potential. It is with great pleasure that I and my fellow directors hand over the reins to Alex and the team at Kartell to take Summerbridge forwards.”

Harry Walker, partner at FRP Corporate Finance, said: “Alex and the team at Kartell identified the need to secure a consistent supply of furniture as a strategic priority for their business earlier this year and asked us to help. We approached the owners of Summerbridge and then effected an introduction to Kartell. It was apparent that the fit between the two businesses was ideal from early in the discussions and having led negotiations and supported the project at all stages, we are delighted to have delivered a successful acquisition for Kartell once again. We wish both businesses the best for their exciting future together.”