Polygiene seals £33m Addmaster deal to create market leader in antibacterial technology

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One of the UK’s leading suppliers of antibacterial additives is setting its sights on major international growth after it was bought by Polygiene in a deal worth £33million, plus cash and stock.

Addmaster, which supplies performance-enhancing additives for the plastic, paper, textiles, paints and coatings industry, will become an instrumental part of the Swedish-owned company and help the two businesses deliver a host of synergies for clients across the globe.

The acquisition brings together the Stafford firm’s expertise in antimicrobial technologies on hard surfaces with the parent group’s long-standing reputation in odour control and antiviral solutions for textiles.

The new owners have extended the lease on the Addmaster head office, signalling the intent to invest in the UK team so that it can play a driving force in the global growth of the enlarged group.

Founder Paul Morris and Managing Director Sandrine Garnier will continue to lead the company going forward, as it aims to build on the Covid-19 fuelled demand for hygienic products.

“This is a fantastic deal for our business and gives us the financial backing and global resources we need to maximise the potential of our products, including the world-leading antimicrobial protection offered by Biomaster,” explained Paul, who started Addmaster twenty years ago after borrowing £5000 off his grandmother.

“We first started talking in 2005 when both companies were new entrants in the antimicrobial market and the relationship has strengthened from there, with our additives used by Polygiene for more than a decade now.”

He continued: “The global demand for antimicrobial solutions has been accelerated by the pandemic and we felt the time was right to come together as one organisation so that we can make the most of the worldwide desire for products and textiles that offer the best hygienic protection to the user.

“In addition to the obvious financial benefits, the deal gives us additional reach and the opportunity for our existing client base to make the most of experts on both polymer and textile applications, receiving industry-leading technical support in the process.”

Addmaster, which won its third Queen’s Award in 2020, has been operational throughout Covid-19, increasing annual sales by over 60% in the last twelve months as existing and new clients look to explore new solutions that offer the user greater hygienic protection.

Biomaster in particular has been in high demand and has been adopted by a diverse cross section of leading companies, from toy makers to paper producers, to shopping trolleys and touch points in supermarkets to the aviation sector where deals have been signed on everything from airport trays and aircraft interiors – all designed to prevent bacteria and viruses growing.

In a recent development, the technology has also completed extensive testing and has been found to be effective on both porous and non-porous substrates against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

This means that Biomaster can give up to 99% protection just four hours after it has been added to products, preventing any bacteria or virus growing on everyday items.

Paul, who was recently awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List, continued: “The acquisition has come at the end of one of the most demanding, yet ultimately successful years and puts us in an excellent position to increase sales both at home and across the world.

“Whilst Brexit was talked about, there was never any question that it would stop the deal from taking place and, if anything, it is a massive advantage for both companies to have footprints in both the UK and the EU.”

Ulrika Björk, CEO of Polygiene, added her support: “The transaction is a milestone in our history and, from a strategic perspective, very logical given the great synergies that exist between the companies.

“Through the acquisition, we can strengthen our position in the market with a much broader offering, which will accelerate our already strong growth.”

Polygiene is listed on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market and as part of the deal, which included shares, Addmaster becomes part of the Polygiene company portfolio.