Merger announced for 246-year-old paint specialist

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Two sister companies within a UK paint and powder coating group have unveiled plans for a major programme of investment and expansion in 2021 following their merger.

Ripon-based T&R Williamson and Thomas Howse Ltd, which is based in the West Midlands, will pool 364 years of industry expertise after forging a formal link-up.

As part of the merger, T&R Williamson will operate as a division of Thomas Howse.

It will retain its own long-established branding – as well as the Royal Warrant that was awarded in 2011 to mark the quality of its specialist paints, varnishes and lacquers.

T&R Williamson was founded in 1775. It specialises in products for the railway, construction and transport sectors, exporting to clients as far away as Peru, Kenya, India and China.

The new combined entity is part of UK Coatings Group, which is operated by the family-run Sheibani Group of companies. It employs more than 2,000 people globally among its portfolio of 20 businesses in the UK and overseas.

“For our growing customer and supplier base, this represents a classic example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts,” said chairman Abubaker Sheibani.

“Uniting the businesses creates a strong platform for us to grow, innovate and drive forward our environmental ambitions.

“It is a natural progression to build on the existing synergies of both companies and blend together the market-leading position, reputation, skill base and aspiration that they both share.”

He added: “The merger signals the start of a major programme of investment in research and development.

“This will be spearheaded by the creation of an international centre of excellence that will become the focal point for innovation in our sector, especially in the development of environmentally-friendly and sustainable products.

“We are recruiting extra chemists to our R&D team, and supporting it by improving our equipment, extending our facilities and harnessing new technology.

“Joining forces in this way will also unlock new opportunities to expand our portfolio, and offer our clients access to a greater dimension of products.”

Thomas Howse is based in the UK’s Black Country at Rowley Regis, near Birmingham.

Established in 1903, it manufactures a diverse range of decorative, industrial and specialist coatings.

It has a developing specialism in products that are 100% solvent-free, designed to reduce carbon footprint and deliver a safer work environment.

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