Lighting group expands presence with £2m acquisition

Ben Truslove

A Worcestershire lighting firm has expanded its base of operations with the acquisition of a new industrial unit.

Redditch-based FW Thorpe has taken nearly 20,000 sq ft of extra space in the town for one of its thriving businesses.
The deal is thought to be worth around £2m.

It has purchased Heming Point, Claybrook Drive, on the Washford Industrial Estate in a deal arranged by local property agents John Truslove.

The unit was formerly owned by logistics company Avon Freight Group, which has undergone its own expansion in the town following the acquisition of a 50,000 sq ft unit at Acanthus Park in a deal worth £3.5m.

The ten-year lease secured on the building, the first speculative Grade A industrial unit to be built in the local area since the 2008 recession, was also brokered by John Truslove.

For FW Thorpe, which has its main base at Merse Road, North Moons Moat, the acquisition comes on the back of impressive results for the 2015/16 financial year, showing revenue ahead 21% to £88.9m and pre-tax profits of £16.3m, up from £14.4m in the previous 12 months.

The company, whose brands include Thorlux Lighting, Compact Lighting, Philip Payne, Portland Lighting, Solite, TRT Lighting, and Netherlands-based Lightronics, employs nearly 600 people.

Heming Point, built in 2004, sits on a 1.5-acre site, comprising 19,720 sq ft inclusive of a main warehouse with attached two storey office block, and there is lapsed planning for an 8,000 sq ft extension.

FW Thorpe financial director and company secretary Craig Muncaster said it would become the new home of TRT Lighting, the firm’s road and tunnel arm, which would be transferring from Target Park in Redditch.

Work is underway at the complex and it is expected to be fully operational later this summer, with new manufacturing, testing and development facilities installed, together with a showroom and administration functions.

Mr Muncaster said: “TRT Lighting was a start-up some years ago, and this will give it 50% more space.

“The site is suitable to be expanded over time so this provides opportunities into the future.

“The aim is for TRT Lighting to become a stand-alone operation but meantime it makes sense for it to be close to our headquarters so it can access the expertise to help it grow.”

He said the move could result in new jobs over time.

Ben Truslove, a director of John Truslove, who advised Avon Freight Group on the sale, said the Heming Point premises had been sold for above the asking price of £1.9m such is the demand for industrial space in the town.