Electrocomponents has reached an agreement to acquire Needlers, a leading UK supplier of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and hygiene products. Needlers will join the Electrocomponents portfolio of brands: RS Components (RS), Allied Electronics & Automation, RS PRO, OKdo, DesignSpark and IESA.

Needlers is a leading supplier of PPE, safety and hygiene products in the UK market, with a strength in the food manufacturing industry. The company also provides value-added services which include technical expertise, consultancy and video training aids and has two private label brands, Pro-Fit and Reldeen.

The acquisition of Needlers will significantly enhance the RS product and private-label offering in the fast-growing PPE market, an area which is key to growth with its industrial customer base. It will also strengthen the Electrocomponents Group’s value-added solutions proposition. As part of Electrocomponents, Needlers will benefit from the scale and international spread of the broader Group, giving it an opportunity to expand beyond its historic strength with small- and medium-sized UK companies. There is the potential to significantly develop the private label brand further and expand the digital offer, utilising expertise within the Group.

Mark Day, Managing Director, Needlers commented: “We are excited about our future as part of RS and the broader Electrocomponents Group. This will enable us to accelerate the growth of our business and to reach new markets with our expertise within PPE, safety and hygiene products.”

Pete Malpas, President EMEA, RS Components, commented: “This acquisition will significantly enhance our expertise and product range in the PPE market. We believe this will be highly complementary to our existing products and services, enabling us to broaden and deepen the expertise we offer our customers. Our ambition is to become First Choice for our customers, suppliers and our people; with this combined capability we will further enhance our ability to deliver as a global omni-channel solutions partner for industrial customers and suppliers.”

Alistair Needler, Chairman, Needlers commented: “I have been very impressed with the clear business plan that Electrocomponents has to grow the PPE business across the UK and Europe. Also, I believe that there is a very good cultural fit between the two businesses with a clear focus on exceptional customer service.”

Lindsley Ruth, Electrocomponents Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Needlers is a very good business, aligned to our strategy of selectively adding high-quality, value-creating bolt-on acquisitions to the Group. Needlers is a very high-quality company that we have been following for a long time and significantly enhances our safety, hygiene and PPE offering, which is a critical capability in today’s world.

“In the past five years we have transformed Electrocomponents into a strong, focused, customer-centric organisation on a clear growth trajectory. We are now taking the business to the next level. Whilst driving organic growth will always be our primary focus, Needlers demonstrates how our disciplined approach to acquisitions can bring valuable capabilities and products into the Group. We maintain a strong financial position to support continued investment in our organic growth strategy, while retaining flexibility to make further bolt-on acquisitions from the attractive pipeline that we have established over recent years.”