Gifts Today magazine

BHS Tabletop continues international expansion

Global market leader for professional porcelain BHS Tabletop continues the expansion of its distribution structures with acquisition of John Artis

The acquisition of John Artis Limited supports the strategy of investing in global distribution channels and strengthens the company’s presence in the UK.
CEO Strootmann: ‘Expanding our distribution structures generates new sales opportunities and accelerates our strategy of internationalisation’

BHS tabletop AG, global market leader for professional porcelain, has acquired a majority stake in UK company John Artis Limited as of 1 October.

The well-established and profitable distributor for tableware is based in Chessington, south of London, and had sales of €12.9 million in the last financial year. The purchase price is £4.5 million (€5.6 million) plus an earn-out payment based on earnings for the next three years which will then conclude the full takeover.

John Artis is one of the biggest suppliers to the British hotel and hospitality industry and serves all foodservice target groups. The company specialises in glass, cutlery and porcelain collections.

Expansion of distribution networks secures domestic jobs
"John Artis is a perfect match for us because we have the same standards of product quality and marketing. Now we are jointly distributing high-quality products for the tabletop," says Christian Strootmann (pictured), CEO of BHS tabletop AG. The new UK subsidiary has shown steady and profitable growth in recent years, he adds. "With this acquisition we are intensifying our presence in the British market, building on our position in the international tabletop sector and expanding our range of products and services. It reinforces our successful positioning as a global provider of complete tabletop and logistics solutions," explains Strootmann. Developing the international sales network creates new sales opportunities and so secures employment in the company’s domestic porcelain production, he continues. BHS already has partnerships with other tabletop providers, including the glass manufacturer Luigi Bormioli, and has a joint venture on the US market, BauscherHepp Inc., which it manages jointly with the cutlery firm Hepp.

John Artis puts his life’s work in strong and safe hands
The takeover of John Artis Limited takes place in two stages: BHS has initially acquired 70 per cent of the shares; the remaining 30 per cent will be transferred in three years. The existing managers have given a long-term commitment to the company and will continue to develop the market position of John Artis. Company founder and owner-manager John Artis (69) is delighted with the deal: "I wanted to pass on my company, which is my life’s work, into strong and safe hands, so that it can continue to be managed with a convincing long-term strategy. My fellow shareholders and I are looking forward to driving the next phase of growth for John Artis Limited together with BHS tabletop AG."

BHS tabletop AG increased its revenue last year by 10.7 per cent to €91.1 million and reported operating earnings of €3.6 million. Every day more than 200 million people eat from professional porcelain from the BHS brands Bauscher, Schönwald and Tafelstern, including at the Burj al Arab in Dubai, the Waldorf Astoria in New York, Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the ships in the AIDA fleet and in business class at Lufthansa. BHS also supplied the World Cup stadiums in Brazil with the finest designer hard porcelain – all made in Germany.

www.bhs-tabletop.de


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