• cotance@euroleather.com

Clayton & Sedgwick two top vegetable tanners combine forces

Joseph Clayton and Sons Ltd of Chesterfield have concluded an amicable arrangement to take over the assets and business of J.E.Sedgwick & Company Limited in a deal dated the 24th April, 2015.

This 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 as separate units, retaining the existing management teams, the deal will create an operation with a combined turnover exceeding £6 million. All members of staff will be retained from each company, creating a joint workforce of around 60.

Certain functions such as finance, purchasing and sales will be coordinated to ensure the enlarged organisation will be better placed to support the powerful brands of Sedgwicks and Claytons in the marketplace.

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

Ian Walker, Chairman& Managing Director of Claytons said: "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.

“Claytons produce a wide range of bespoke leathers with a variety of end uses while Sedgwicks focus on bridle and saddlery leathers. This is not surprising given that Claytons have developed from an industrial leather background while Sedgwicks have 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 longstanding businesses. We are also pleased to be manufacturing in a location near Walsall, the important centre of UK saddlery and leather goods."

"We are delighted with this outcome for our business" said Richard Farrow, the current Managing Director of Sedgwicks. "Claytons understand our world of vegetable tanned leathers and have a similar heritage to ours. There could be no better custodian to pass our business to."

Richard is the grandson of one of the early owners and managers of J.E.Sedgwick and with his fellow shareholders has been looking at the future of the company as he comes towards retirement. He will remain as Managing Director and also join the board of the expanded group.  

Stephen Denham, relationship manager for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Sedgwicks and Claytons are an ideal fit for one another due to the nature of their work, and this is a transformative deal for both companies that should provide a solid platform for future growth and expansion.

“Our specialist manufacturing teams regularly work with firms to ensure that they have access to the support and guidance necessary to continue to drive their growth, and also receive training from the University of Warwick to ensure that they fully understand the issues faced by firms in the sector.”


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