Duplo International chairman and chief executive chairman Robin Greenhalgh said the deal came about largely because his two older brothers and fellow shareholders Philip and Alan Greenhalgh were looking to retire. As a result, the Greenhalgh family began talking to Duplo Corporation late last year about a possible sale.
The deal was completed on 28 February.
Robin Greenhalgh said that due to pre-existing relationship it was a very straightforward sale process and, from a customer perspective, nothing would change as Duplo International would remain a separate subsidiary of Duplo Corporation and operate in the same way as it had previously.
“Duplo Corporation was already a 41% shareholder, but they now own the entire share capital and very generously asked me to stay and I’m very happy to stay on for another three years and probably longer,” he said.
“This has been my baby; I joined the business before we even had Duplo, and I’ve been working with Duplo since 1984 when we brought them to Europe, so there’s an emotional attachment as well as business one and I’m no hurry to leave or retire.”
He added that longer term the deal would be good news for European customers in terms of an even louder voice in R&D and may result in its Addlestone headquarters increasing the amount of kit it holds in stock.
“The lines of communication were already strong, but [the sale] now makes them even shorter and also solidifies the future, because Duplo Corporation believes in what we’ve been doing and have confirmed it by buying the rest of the business.”
Following the deal, Duplo UK will continue to sell the range of non-Duplo equipment it had the agency for and Duplo International’s EMEA headquarters will remain at Automated Precision House, Addlestone, Surrey.
“It will very much be business as usual, there really will be no changes apart from when you go to Companies House and you see who are the Duplo International shareholders,” said Greenhalgh.
Duplo Corporation is understood to have global sales in excess of £200m, while Duplo International has revenues of around £35m, around £10m coming from Duplo UK.