Manufacturer goes Dutch to strengthen its European business


A Black Country manufacturer has strengthened its presence in its chosen market by acquiring a European counterpart.

West Bromwich-based Beeswift, which manufactures and distributes health and safety products in Europe, has acquired Dutch-based Schulte Safety Products (SSP), which distributes workwear and protective clothing.

The financial details concerning the deal have not been disclosed but SSP is now wholly-owned by Beeswift and will trade as Beeswift.

It said the acquisition would ensure the business benefited from inward investment to enhance its existing product range.

The acquisition will see an expansion of the company’s workforce, a process which is already underway.

Beeswift has been supported in its export strategy by the Department for International Trade.

Graham Stuart, Minister for Investment, said: “Beeswift’s acquisition of Schulte has already created new jobs for people in West Bromwich and will sustain many more. The continued expansion of the company will create further opportunities for the local economy with job growth, driving increased local spending.

“As an international economic department, DIT supports UK companies’ investments overseas where it creates jobs and wealth for the UK economy.”

Darren Washbourne, Commercial and Export Director for Beeswift, said: “Our aim has always been to become the leading wholesaler of personal protective equipment and safety workwear and the acquisition of SSP will help us to achieve this.

“We expect initial growth to come from mainly Netherlands and Germany in the short term, but as Beeswift becomes more established we will expand further across the Eurozone.

“As a result of the investment overseas, we have hired more staff at our West Bromwich base and plan to increase our numbers further underpinning continued growth.”

The DIT has supported the firm at trade shows, facilitated international engagement and helped upskill Beeswift staff, as well as provide face-to-face support with an international trade adviser when needed.

The support has directly contributed to two of Beeswift’s export wins in the Netherlands and France.

Ian Harrison, Director of Exports, DIT Midlands, said: “Beeswift is a fantastic example of a West Midlands company with a truly international outlook. From their strong track record of exporting, to their acquisition of SSP, they are establishing themselves as an industry leader at home and abroad.

“We have worked with them over a number of years and look forward to the future as we continue to support their growth.”