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Published on February 6th, 2018 | by The GC Team


Hughes adds scale with latest acquisition

Hughes Electrical has said it is set to become a leading player in the UK’s commercial laundry market after completing the acquisition of Newbury-based Armstrong Commercial Laundry Systems for an undisclosed sum.

The newly acquired company, which also operates in Scotland and has an annual turnover of £6.5m and 45 employees, is a UK distributor for American firm Alliance Laundry Systems, the largest worldwide producer of commercial laundry equipment.

Armstrong has a route operation with coin-operated laundry machines in well over 100 locations, while its industrial arm supplies commercial laundries. It is also said to have a thriving spare parts business.

Hughes commercial arm, launched in 2012, serves the care, hospitality, tourism and educational sectors, supplying, installing, servicing and repairing a range of highly specialist washing machines and dryers from the Miele Professional range. It has branches in Norwich, Leicester and Rochester with 26 members of staff.

Following the merger Armstrong will remain in Newbury and Glasgow but will increase in size. It will continue responsibility for distribution to dealers and route operations while absorbing Hughes’ commercial arm and staff members. Part of the business will be rebranded as Hughes Pro and look after the repair, servicing and product supply to customers.

Armstrong was founded in 1878 and has remained in the hands of the Lowes family. Tom Lowes stays on the Armstrong board and will be joined by Simon Quinlan from Hughes Commercial and Paul Chisnall from Hughes Trade.

“We are delighted with the deal which we see as a merger of two likeminded, well established family businesses who share the same values,” said Hughes managing director, Robert Hughes.

“It is all a perfect fit for us as we look after the South East, Midlands and East Anglia, while Armstrong services West London, along the M4 corridor to Wales, the South Coast and the area up to the Midlands and has a Glasgow-based operation.

“Merging the two businesses will make us a very significant player in the commercial laundry market and operating in the majority of England and Scotland. We are all delighted that Tom Lowes has joined the new board and his experience will be invaluable as we take the combined businesses into a new, and very exciting, era.”

There are plans to open Hughes trade counters in the existing properties in Newbury and Glasgow to provide domestic equipment to local businesses and existing Armstrong customers.

Pictured (left to right): Paul Chisnall; Robert Hughes; Jeremy Lowes, previous managing director of Armstrong; Thomas Lowes and Simon Quinlan

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