Photo: Alexander James.
German building technology specialist and smart building pioneer Gira (www.gira.com), based in Radevormwald (near Düsseldorf), has acquired Wandsworth, premium manufacturer of switch ranges made of finished metal and of professional emergency call systems for hospitals and care facilities. Founded in 1904 and headquartered to the west of London in Woking, where it currently employs 110 people, this long-established company with its two business divisions “Wandsworth Electrical” and “Wandsworth Healthcare” has been part of the almost equally long-established family business Gira (1905) since mid-January. “When two healthy, successful and independent faamily businesses come together with different strengths that complement each other in a special way, it is an ideal launch pad for growth and success. And when the culture, values and aspirations of both companies are as closely related as they are at Wandsworth and Gira, then this can only be a success story,” declared Dirk Giersiepen, Managing Partner of Gira, and Dominik Marte, Managing Marketing and Sales Director from 1 March 2022, in a personal letter to the Wandsworth staff.
Smart building specialist Gira, whose systems and solutions are sold in 40 countries, primarily in Europe and Asia, has been active in the UK since 2011, with its own sales company since 2018. By acquiring Wandsworth, Gira hopes to sustainably tap into the growth potential of the large British market and expand its market position. “The brand recognition of Wandsworth, its large customer network, and its sales strength in the UK will allow us to access the British market in a completely different way than before,” commented Gira’s Managing Director Marketing and Sales, Dominik Marte, adding that this applied all the more as Adam Sherry, owner and chief executive of Wandsworth since 2013, would continue to run the company for the next few years at both parties’ request. “His great market knowledge and his personality as a guarantor of trust and continuity are important building blocks in helping us achieve our growth targets,” said Dirk Giersiepen.
In turn, Wandsworth will benefit from the huge expertise in electronics, smart building and software that has accumulated in the Gira Group. “Wandsworth has little in-house expertise in these areas, which will continue to gain importance in our industry. Working together in the Gira Group will open up new opportunities for us on the product side,” explained Wandsworth CEO Adam Sherry. For example, KNX technology, a globally successful standard in building automation, will be available to Wandsworth in future for integration into its product range.
Both Gira and Wandsworth also see good opportunities to generate additional synergies in international sales. “This will create opportunities for us to offer our products in international markets via Gira’s sales organisations,” said Adam Sherry, also noting that joint marketing in future could help both partners gain a better foothold in the growth regions of the Middle East and Eastern Europe. This is helped by the fact that the product ranges of both companies barely overlap and are not substitutes for each other.
“Given this win-win situation, the signs are clearly pointing to joint growth for both brands, which will of course be retained as valuable assets,” stated Dirk Giersiepen with conviction. “For this reason, we can also assume that this expansion of the Gira Group will create new jobs in both Woking and Radevormwald.”
In addition to Gira and Wandsworth, the Gira Group also includes holdings in electronics specialist Insta, software incubator ISE, plastics specialist Stettler, and start-up Senic.