Bunzl, the distribution and services group, has announced that it has acquired personalised workwear and promotional clothing specialist Workwear Express.

Founded in 1990 by outgoing chairman Andrew Ward, Workwear Express now employs nearly 300 people in supplying personalised garments from its base in Durham.

It has two purpose-built factories and fulfilment centres, using the latest garment decorating technology from embroidery to print and transfer.

Announcing the acquisition yesterday, Bunzl reported that Workwear Express generated £29 million in revenue in the year to March 2021, with a strong e-commerce presence. New directors from Bunzl were appointed at the end of October.

Bunzl also announced that, early in November, it completed the acquisition of Hydropac, a distributor of insulated packaging solutions based in Buckinghamshire. Complementing Bunzl’s Coolpack business in the Netherlands, it is focused on the growing online food delivery market.

Frank van Zanten, chief executive officer of Bunzl, said: “Today’s announcement further highlights the continued success of our compounding strategy. The acquisitions of Workwear Express and Hydropac represent our 12th and 13th acquisitions this year, with our committed spend year to date higher than our spend in 2020, making it another successful year and one of the most acquisitive years in our history.

“The acquisitions demonstrate the opportunities for growth in digital channels, with Workwear Express a strong online driven business and Hydropac a specialist in packaging products that support online-focused customers.”

Based in London, Bunzl is an international distribution group providing customised solutions to business-to-business customers in more than 30 countries including the UK.

It supplies various sectors including grocery, foodservice, retail and healthcare and is already a leading supplier of personal protection equipment (PPE) to customers in industrial and construction markets.