Acquisition announcement – Clares acquires European Office Products
In an exciting new development we are pleased to announce a recent acquisition. In February 2019 Clares purchased European Office Products. This is a strategic move to acquire a business with a portfolio of services that complements and extends our current service offering. As a result we have strengthened our existing office interiors proposition and acquired a leading archive storage and digitisation provision.
Clares is the largest independent office services supplier on the South coast of England. Our mission is to be the first choice provider of innovative procurement solutions, delivering long term contracts to businesses within the UK. To this end we continuously invest in our business, systems and people, and proactively seek opportunities to improve our capabilities and competitive position in the market.
Steve Clare, Managing Director commented,
”The opportunity to acquire European Office Products was an extremely attractive proposition. Not only is the business an established, family run enterprise with services that complement our own in the office supplies and print management market, but it has a highly successful office furniture solutions offering that extends our current office furniture capabilities, and a growing archive storage division that is a fantastic asset offering an additional string to our bow.”
Established in Arundel, West Sussex in 2002, today European Office Products is a £3m business. Its office furniture division is ten years old and contributes to one third of its business. As a major part of the enterprise its office furniture services includes design and space planning, furniture recycling, fit-out and refurbishment, installation, finance and leasing. These services complement Clares’s existing furniture capabilities and have already been incorporated into our newly named Commercial Interiors Division.
European’s document storage, digital scanning and document shredding business was established four years ago and is already one of the leading service suppliers in the country. This is not a service that Clares provided previously and we are therefore very excited to now be able to offer document management to our existing client base and prospects.
Steve Clare commented,
“With last year’s GDPR and growing compliance and regulations around archive document storage and destruction, there is an increasing demand for document management services. European is an established contender in this space, offering a very professional, flexible and cost effective service and we are delighted to be able to capitalise on their capabilities and experience and be able to now extend this offering to our existing customers.”
Of course it is not just Clares’s customer base that will benefit from the acquisition and the extended service offerings available. Over the last four months Clares has invested heavily in the European business, completely replacing its entire IT infrastructure, systems, software and hardware to improve operational speed, agility and efficiency across the business.
Barney Sharp, Sales Director commented,
“We have known the directors at Clares for a long time and recognised that there are a lot of synergies between our two businesses. Not just in terms of service offerings, but also in relation to our values and ethos. Both Clares and European are highly customer focused and customer service driven. The acquisition will provide future financial stability for our business and promises to see both businesses go from strength to strength.”
He adds, “We have already launched a new customer portal, which provides a more intuitive, ‘Amazon’ like experience. It’s now much easier for our customers to search for and find products. We’ll also soon be retiring the European website and adopting the new Clares’s website which is already promoting our combined Commercial Interiors and Document Management services.”
Clares is also capitalising on European’s delivery infrastructure across the South East of England.
Steve Clare concludes,
“European has an existing fleet of delivery vans and delivery routes, and this extends Clares’s delivery capabilities. Providing a fast and flexible delivery service is critical to our business and now we have even more vehicles and managed routes available. We are thrilled at the opportunities that this acquisition has presented and we look forward to delighting our existing customers with our new services and strengths and introducing European’s customers to our business and capabilities.”