Swedish-based Becker Acroma has formed a new force to battle for market share in a tough UK industrial wood finishes market by buying Granyte Surface Coatings plc.

In a multi-million pound deal, Becker Acroma has acquired Granyte’s Salford manufacturing site employing more than 100 workers, together with sales and service sites in Cheshunt and Dublin. The previous owner was air filtration specialist McLeod Russell.

The £130m-turnover Swedish business – part of the Linden Group – already had around 900 employees working in production units in eight countries, plus sales organisations in 30.

The company operates a wood finish manufacturing site in Haverhill and, combined with this, Granyte’s operations, which achieved sales last year of £12m, make it the largest manufacturer of paints, lacquers and stains for the UK woodfinishing industry. Granyte also claims ‘well over half’ of the industrial wood finish market in Ireland.

The move puts the finishing touch to Becker Acroma’s strategic concentration on industrial coatings. Last year it completed its withdrawal from the decorative paint business with the disposal of its Alcro-Beckers brand.

A spokesman for Becker Acroma said that the acquisition demonstrated its commitment to the woodworking sector and its ‘long-term support’ for manufacturers.

The move is also said to equip Becker Acroma better for a highly competitive UK marketplace.

Granyte Surface Coatings plc managing director Nick Searle said: ‘The acquistion was inevitable given that the marketplace is getting smaller and smaller as the UK furniture industry suffers from import subsitution, the strength of the pound and substitution by foils. At some point there has to be an adjustment to a smaller market.’