Hughes Electrical has acquired Newbury-based Armstrong Commercial Laundry Systems for an undisclosed sum.
Hughes said the acquisition would make it a “leading player” in the UK’s commercial laundry market.
Armstrong is a UK distributor for American brand Alliance Laundry Systems, the largest worldwide producer of commercial laundry equipment.
The merger will see part of the business rebranded as Hughes Pro and will look after the repair, servicing and product supply to customers.
Armstrong will remain in Newbury and Glasgow, but will increase in size, and will continue to be responsible for distribution to dealers and route operations, while absorbing Hughes’s commercial arm and staff.
There are also plans to open Hughes trade counters in Armstrong’s existing Newbury and Glasgow properties to provide domestic equipment to local businesses and existing Armstrong customers.
Hughes launched its own commercial arm in 2012, serving the care, hospitality, tourism and educational sectors by supplying, installing, servicing and repairing a range of highly specialised washing machines and dryers from the Miele Professional range.
It has branches in Norwich, Leicester and Rochester and employs 26 members of staff.
Tom Lowes, director at Armstrong, will stay 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 like-minded, well-established family businesses who share the same values,” said Hughes managing director Robert Hughes.
“Armstrong was founded in 1878 and has remained in the hands of the Lowes family, while we were founded by Frank Hughes in 1921.
“It is all a perfect fit for us as we look after the South East, Midlands and East Anglia,” he added, “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.”
Former Armstrong managing director Jeremy Lowes, who will depart from the board, commented: “We could not have wished for a better partner than Hughes to help take Armstrong to the next stage of its development. We share the unique values that come with a successfully run family business and can now look forward to the future with great confidence.”
• Photo shows, left to right:Paul Chisnall, Robert Hughes, Jeremy Lowes, Thomas Lowes and Simon Quinlan