Wilsonart® acquires worktop supplier Orama


Decorative laminate producer, Wilsonart, a subsidiary of Chicago based Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW), has acquired the laminate worktop business of Orama Holdings Ltd.

Wilsonart is recognised as one of the world leading high pressure decorative laminate producers with manufacturing and distribution activities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. With UK operations based in Shildon, County Durham, Wilsonart International has been producing laminate worktops since the late nineties and has developed into one of the most innovative and design-led manufacturers of worktops and components in today’s kitchen market.

Orama has established itself as a leading UK independent manufacturer and supplier of kitchen, bathroom and bedroom worksurfaces, with production sites in Derbyshire (Somercotes) and North Yorkshire (Wetherby).

Both companies cite product development and design innovation as key drivers to their success. As Dale Alexander, Managing Director of Wilsonart comments, ”Having laminate production as our core business provides us with a leading edge in both new surface technology and design creation enabling us to react to, and at times create, new market opportunities. Our knowledge and expertise within the laminate market has helped establish Wilsonart as a major UK supplier of worktops to the biggest DIY retailers, furniture manufacturers, kitchen distributors and builders merchants.”

On the acquisition Alexander continues, “This further strengthens the commitment to our UK manufacturing operations and the expansion of laminate decorative surfaces. We are excited by this new venture and look forward to integrating the Orama operation under the Wilsonart banner helping to further strengthen our market position”.

The acquisition of Orama comes on the back of a recent £¾ million investment in a new, fully automated accessories line at Wilsonarts manufacturing operation in Shildon.

Advising the shareholders of Orama were Phil Burns and Karen Edwards of Clearwater Corporate Finance.

Clearwater’s Burns and Edwards previously advised on the buy-in, management buy-out (BIMBO)) of Orama in 2002 when 3i exited the business and Robin Trotter and Peter Holt, bought into the company, joining Phil Slater.Phil Burns, partner with Clearwater said; “This acquisition is an excellent development for ITW which already has a great market position in laminate worktops in the UK. I have no doubt that under ITW’s helm Orama will go from strength to strength and build on the solid base developed by the outgoing shareholders”.