Display firm Leach acquired by France-based Chargeurs

Leach, a 127-year-old graphic display firm, has been taken over by a French multinational.

The Huddersfield-based family-run business has been acquired by French-owned Chargeurs, a global manufacturing and services group based in 34 countries on five continents.

Chargeurs has bought the Leach Impact and Leach Inspire divisions of the company for an undisclosed sum. Leach Studio will continue to be privately owned by directors Richard Leach and Jim Parkin.

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Chargeurs has dealt with the Leach brand in the past, having supplied the Pearl fabric – Leach’s best-selling print material used in its iconic lightboxes – for the past seven years.

Mr Leach said now was the right time for him to sell.

“Having experienced ten years of consecutive growth, we have been planning how to pursue the next chapter of our journey for some time,” he said.

“A key part of our long-term strategy has been to attract investment that will allow us to generate more international sales and to keep our growth record going.

“But finding the best-fit business to acquire us, was crucial.

“Leach started out life in 1891, when my great-grandfather opened a one-man photographic studio, in Brighouse.

“This family legacy is something the family shareholders were incredibly keen to preserve and build upon, and is one of the main reasons why Chargeurs – with a 146-year-old story of its own – was such a great fit.”

Whilst nothing will change on a day-to-day basis at Leach’s 30,000sqft HQ, the acquisition gives the team better access to investment that will fuel greater product innovation.

“By creating more of a closed loop business model with the supplier of our best-selling print material, we can also offer even sharper response times, which should give us a more distinct competitive edge in the marketplace,” Mr Leach continued. “Otherwise it’s business as usual – the same offices, the same team, and the same brand.”

With clients including Gap, Regatta and Barburrito Leach employs 100 people and has a turnover of £11m.

Chargeurs is a €533m business of which more than 90 per cent was generated outside France with plans to double its turnover to €1bn in the next five years.