Duplo Corporation has extended its stake in Duplo International and is now majority shareholder of the business. It has acquired stakes belonging to the Greenhalgh family with Alan and Philip Greenhalgh beyond retirement age, but younger brother Robin Greenhalgh, 55, Duplo International's CEO and chairman, remains with the business.
“I’m staying for the next three years, if not longer,” says the youngest Greenhalgh brother. “As some of the family shareholders are well into their retirement and no new family members wanted to take over, it seemed the perfect meeting of minds.”
He stresses that there will be no difference to how the company does business. It will remain in Automated Precision House, the office and showroom in Addlestone that was converted to minimise its environmental footprint by Philip Greenhalgh. The lease on the building runs until 2027. And there will be no direct management by Duplo Corporation.
Greenhalgh explains that what is happing at the print finishing specialist is a path well trodden by previous Japanese companies. Before setting up subsidiary operations, many have worked through distributors to establish themselves in Europe before acquiring the distributor in as part of a long term plan for growth. This has happened with the likes of Toshiba, Konica Minolta and Komori among others.
“It’s a natural progression,” he says. David Greenhalgh had started what was Print Finishing International, securing distribution for Duplo’s collators more than 40 years ago. This grew to the point that the name changed and Duplo International become responsible for distribution across Europe and delivering feedback to Japan about product acceptance and performance. This has resulted in the iSaddle and most recently the DuSense products.
The deal brings Europe in line with North America where Duplo Corporation has been majority shareholding in Duplo USA for some years.
“I am happy that we have secured a partner that has more of a vested interest in our success as a business."
By Gareth Ward
Duplo Corporation has increased its stake in its European distributor Duplo International to a controlling interest. There will be no changes for customers and the business will remain in Addlestone.