Addmaster sold to listed Swedish firm in £33m deal

An antibacterial additives supplier is setting its sights on major international growth after being acquired by a Swedish-owned textile solutions business.

Stafford-based Addmaster has been bought by Nasdaq-listed Polygiene in a £33 million deal.

The move will see Addmaster, which supplies performance-enhancing additives for the plastic, paper, textiles, paints and coatings industry, become an instrumental part of the company and help the two businesses deliver a host of synergies for clients across the globe.

The acquisition brings together the firm’s expertise in antimicrobial technologies on hard surfaces and the parent group’s long-standing reputation in odour control and antiviral solutions for textiles.

And the new owners have extended the lease on the Addmaster head office on Staffordshire Technology Park, signalling the intent to invest in the UK team so that it can play a driving force in the global growth of the enlarged group.

Addmaster founder Paul Morris and managing director Sandrine Garnier will continue to lead the company going forward, as it aims to build on the Covid-19 fuelled demand for hygienic products.

Paul, who started Addmaster more than 20 years ago after borrowing £5,000 off his grandmother, said: “This is a fantastic deal for our business and gives us the financial backing and global resources we need to maximise the potential of our products, including the world-leading antimicrobial protection offered by Biomaster.

“We first started talking in 2005 when both companies were new entrants in the antimicrobial market and the relationship has strengthened from there, with our additives used by Polygiene for more than a decade now.”

Paul added: “The global demand for antimicrobial solutions has been accelerated by the pandemic and we felt the time was right to come together as one organisation so that we can make the most of the worldwide desire for products and textiles that offer the best hygienic protection to the user.

“In addition to the obvious financial benefits, the deal gives us additional reach and the opportunity for our existing client base to make the most of experts on both polymer and textile applications, receiving industry-leading technical support in the process.”

Addmaster, which won its third Queen’s Award in 2020, has been operational throughout Covid-19, increasing annual sales by over 60 per cent in the last 12 months.

The demand for its products has been driven by existing and new clients looking to explore new solutions that offer greater hygienic protection.

Biomaster in particular has been in high demand and has been adopted by a diverse cross-section of leading companies. It is also being used on shopping trolleys and touch points in supermarkets and in the aviation sector on airport trays and aircraft interiors.

The technology has also been found to be effective on both porous and non-porous substrates against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

Paul, who was awarded an MBE in the recent New Year’s Honours List, said: “The acquisition has come at the end of one of the most demanding, yet ultimately successful years and puts us in an excellent position to increase sales both at home and across the world.

“Whilst Brexit was talked about, there was never any question that it would stop the deal from taking place and, if anything, it is a massive advantage for both companies to have footprints in the UK and the EU.”

Ulrika Björk, CEO of Polygiene, said: “The transaction is a milestone in our history and, from a strategic perspective, very logical given the great synergies that exist between the companies.

“Through the acquisition, we can strengthen our position in the market with a much broader offering, which will accelerate our already strong growth.”

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She added: “We can now focus on merging the two companies and getting the organisation established. The acquisition will allow us to offer the market a comprehensive solution of antimicrobial functions for both soft surfaces such as textiles and hard surfaces such as floors, handles, kitchen and bathroom fittings in public spaces. This reduces the need for washing and cleaning, therefore lessens our environmental impact.”

Addmaster now becomes part of the Polygiene company portfolio and joins the business on Nasdaq First North Growth Market.

Business Live – West Midlands