Clayton and Sedgwick join forces

15 May 2015

Towards the end of April, Joseph Clayton and Sons of Chesterfield finalised an amicable arrangement to acquire the assets and business of JE Sedgwick & Company.


As a result, it will create the largest vegetable tanning group in the UK.


The acquisition was initiated to fit with the long-term plans of the shareholders and senior management of Claytons.


While the two businesses will continue to run separately, retaining the existing management teams, the deal will create an operation with a combined turnover exceeding £6 million. In addition, all staff members will remain from each company, creating a joint workforce of about 60.


Certain functions like finance, purchasing and sales, will be coordinated to ensure the combined organisation will be better placed to support the powerful brands of Sedgwicks, founded in 1900, and Claytons in the marketplace.


The acquisition, which was financed by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, will make Claytons, which was founded in 1840 in Chesterfield, the largest vegetable tannery group in the UK and is predicted to increase turnover by up to 25%.


"While it is easy to see us as two very similar vegetable tanning units, in fact our product ranges only have a narrow area of overlap," said Ian Walker, chairman and managing director of Claytons. "Claytons produces a wide range of bespoke leathers with a variety of end uses, while Sedgwicks focuses on bridle and saddlery leathers. This is not surprising given that Claytons has developed from an industrial leather background while Sedgwicks has developed out of an equestrian one; our processes, leathers and customers are distinct. So this is not an exercise in consolidation but in growth for two long-standing businesses."


Adding comment, Richard Farrow, the current managing director of Sedgwicks said, "We are delighted with this outcome for our business. Claytons understands our world of vegetable-tanned leathers and has a similar heritage to ours. There could be no better custodian to pass our business to."

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